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Hi! We’re Alyzeh and Ahmer, the founders of Peepal People. We’re originally from Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan.
Growing up in Pakistan, hot sauce was never a very popular condiment, but spice was. Most households had a bottle of some big brand “chilli garlic sauce” as a spice alternative to raw peppers, but it lacked flavor and was full of unnecessary ingredients and preservatives.
At the time when Ahmer moved to the US for college, the hot sauce microculture had picked up steam, with many brands stocking sauces on grocery shelves, and so his journey began. On every visit back to Pakistan, he would bring new hot sauces for us to try together - and we would mix them with achaar to add an extra oomph to our everyday meals.
Once Alyzeh made the move to the US as well, the bottle of hot sauce became a staple on our grocery list, alongside eggs, bread and milk. We looked far and wide for a sauce that brought the familiar fermented flavor of achaar, married with the heat of the peppers, but were always unsuccessful. When we realized how underrepresented Pakistani flavors were on the international shelf, we waited for these to surface in a new hotly branded sauce bottle, but they didn’t.
After our move from a small apartment in New York to a house with a backyard in Texas, we finally set our sight on our dream! Confined to our home throughout 2020, we planted a variety of peppers in the garden and at the end of the season, had an abundant variety of ripe and home-grown peppers. As Pakistanis, we turned to fermentation to conserve the peppers - something that is commonly done in households back home - and ended up with delicious small batches of hot sauce, which people around us were very excited to taste. As we continued to experiment whole-heartedly with heirloom spices and flavors that reminded us of home, Peepal People was born.
We started Peepal People out of a desire to change the narrative around hot sauces - and other spicy foods. Spice is deemed scary - as it is usually conveyed through images of hell, fire, devils, and even death - but it doesn't have to be so. Peepal People is our humble attempt at changing how heat and spice are perceived, while opening up the palette of curious tasters to new horizons and accents. To us, hot sauce should be encouraging and inviting, rather than threatening and repelling. We hope you will savor each of our creations and share them around you, passing Peepal People sauces around your table as we pass achaar when we gather around to share our meals.
Our sauces are a gesture of love from our people to yours.