Cooks and lovers of spicy food should offer many thanks to the Portugese, whose efforts to explore [and colonize] the rest of the non-European world in the 15th and 16th centuries led to the discovery subsequent worldwide popularity of the Thai Chile. Also known as Piri-Piri, the "African Devil" chile, and the Bird Chile, the fiery Thai Chile is essential to ethnic African, Thai, and Portugese cooking.
Immature Thai Chiles grow green, and ripen to a bright red or purple peppers, slender and 1" - 3" long with a pointy end. Do not let its diminutive size fool you! The little Thai Chile is one of the hottest around, measuring up to 100K Scoville heat units. As with all very hot peppers, use careful food-handling practices when seasoning foods with Thai Chile. Thai Chile is a blazing hot chile that has a seriously strong lingering heat. Add *gently* to your cooking.
Thai Chiles are a staple in Asian kitchens, and also figure prominently in Portugese and East African [Mozambique and Angolan] cooking. Use Thai Chile to add heat to sauces, marinades and dry rubs, along with Thai curries and stir-fry dishes.
Finally, Thai Chiles are the key to Piri-Piri, a delicious Portugese spicy sauce made with hot peppers, cilantro, oil, garlic, parsley and lemon. Piri-Piri goes wonderfully on grilled fish or shrimp, or in the middle of the table for bread dipping.