Aji Limo Rojo Chile Pepper
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Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are slender, straight, to slightly curved, averaging 5 to 7 centimeters in length and 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter, and have a tapered, conical shape. The skin is glossy, transforming from green to bright red when mature, and the semi-smooth surface has a wrinkled, slightly grooved appearance. Underneath the thin skin, the flesh is pale red-orange and is crisp, aqueous, and slightly ribbed, encasing a central cavity filled with a few round, cream-colored seeds. Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are aromatic and have a distinct floral and fruity taste with notes of sour citrus. The peppers are also considered very hot and have an immediate heat that lingers on the palate.
Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are available in the fall through winter.
Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are pungent pods growing on shrubs reaching up to one meter in height and are members of the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Native to the western slopes of the Andes and named after Lima, the capital city in Peru, Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are considered to be very spicy ranging 30,000-50,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. Also sometimes known as Peruvian Hot peppers, Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are a rare variety that is difficult to classify due to its muddled history. Believed to be one of the oldest varieties of peppers in Peru, some experts believe the pepper is a part of the Capsicum chinense species, while other experts record it as part of the Capsicum baccatum species. Despite this debate, Aji Limo Rojo chiles are a popular flavoring in Peruvian cuisine and are utilized for their fruity, citrus-like taste in fresh seafood dishes.
Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A and C as well as essential minerals like potassium, magnesium, and iron. The peppers also contain capsaicin, which is a compound that causes the brain to feel spice or heat and is believed to offer beneficial antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as simmering, boiling, roasting, grilling, and baking. When preparing the peppers, it may be beneficial to wear gloves to avoid the burning sensation that the capsaicin may cause when in direct contact with the skin. Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers can be used fresh and are incorporated into salsas, hot sauces, marinades, and seafood salads. In addition to fresh applications, Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers can be chopped and mixed into soups, stews, and chilis, stir-fried with vegetables and cooked meats, or pickled whole for extended use. The citrus-forward, fruity, and sour flavor of the pepper also shines in pastes and are pureed fresh or roasted for added flavor. Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers pair well with potatoes, corn, red onions, bell pepper, jicama, carrots, cilantro, tomatoes, seafood such as fish, octopus, squid, and shrimp, and rice. The peppers will keep 1-2 weeks when stored whole and unwashed in the refrigerator.
In Peru, Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are primarily used to flavor ceviche, which is the country’s national dish. Declared National Ceviche Day on June 28th, Peruvians consume seafood multiple times a week and typically eat ceviche at lunchtime as they believe the fish is the freshest during that time of day. Peruvian ceviche is composed of raw fish, traditionally Seabass, soaked in red onions, lime juice, and aji peppers. Once the mixture has marinated and is ready to be served, it is commonly paired with sliced sweet potatoes, corn, and extra marinade on the side known as leche de tigre or tiger’s milk. Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers add considerable heat to ceviche and are a favorite element in the dish to add color, spice, and flavor.
Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers are native to Peru, specifically the Lima region along the western side of the Andes mountains, and have been cultivated for thousands of years. Today the spicy peppers are primarily localized to home gardens and small farms in Peru and select regions of Bolivia and Columbia. Outside of South America, Aji Limo Rojo chile peppers can be found in seed form through online catalogs or small farms at local farmer’s markets in Europe, Central America, and the United States.
Recipes that include Aji Limo Rojo Chile Pepper. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Genius Kitchen||Aji Rojo|
|My Colombian Recipes & International Flavors||Aji Picante (Colombian Hot Sauce)|
|Mind Body Green||Peruvian Artichoke Heart Salad|
|Lins Food||Swordfish, Raspberry and Ají Limo Ceviche|