Aji Amarillo Chilli Recipes
Aji" means chile pepper in Spanish, and "amarillo" means yellow. But although they are named yellow chile peppers, their colour changes to orange as they mature.
The famous Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio recently named aji amarillo the most important ingredient in Peruvian cooking. Aji amarillo is used in many classic Peruvian dishes, such as causa rellena and papa a la huancaína.
The Aji Amarillo chile pepper was first found by archaeologists in a cave in Peru which dated back to 8500 BC.
These plants can reach 5-6 feet in a single season, with fruits averaging 6-7 inches in length. The fruits start off green maturing to orange, typically 120 days after transplanting. The fruits are quite pungent and are usually dried and powdered for use in many Peruvian and Bolivian dishes. 40,000-50,000 Scoville units places them at the medium pungency end of the heat scale. Llisted as United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) variety PI 152217
The C. baccatum species, is typically associated with Peruvian cuisine, and is considered part of it's condiment trinity together with red onion and garlic.
Today the Ají amarillo is mainly seen in South American markets and in Latin American food stores around the world where Peruvian and Bolivian expatriates are numerous. The wild baccatum species (C. baccatum var. baccatum) is most common in Bolivia with outlier populations in Peru (rare) and Paraguay, northern Argentina, and southern Brazil.
Pepper varieties in the C. baccatum species have white or cream colored flowers, and typically have a green or gold corolla. The flowers are either insect or self-fertilized. The fruit pods of the baccatum species have been cultivated into a wide variety of shapes and sizes, unlike other capsicum species which tend to have a characteristic shape. The pods typically hang down, unlike a Capsicum frutescens plant, and can have a citrus or fruity flavour.