What type of chile is used in western Congo to make ’pilipili’, the local hot (hot hot) sauce? Your initial reaction might be that its a birdseye pepper, as used in East Africa to make ’piri piri’, but the two are not the same. The pepper used for Congolese pilipili is shaped like a habanero, but is deep red in color and much hotter than a birdseye, with a richer flavor. It is abundantly grown around Kinshasa, and as far as I can tell is not exported. I’m beginning to think its some local variant evolved from many generations of growth coupled with little outside contact. Thanks,
The terms "pili-pili" and "piri-piri" and "peri-peri" are all generic and are variants of Swahili for "pepper-pepper." Without seeing a pic of the pods, I would guess that the pepper is a Capsicum chinense, probably originally from the Caribbean or Amazon Basin.