Fresh Chili Peppers Featured in
Peruvians love chili peppers! It is also believed that chilis are the "lost crop" of the Inca Empire, which was once centred on the territory of modern Peru.
Dried and shredded peppers from Peru can be found all around the world, but if you want to feel the taste of a fresh "aji" (pronounce it as "ahee"), then visit Peru between the middle of December and late March. This is when various kinds of chilis are harvested and delivered to markets.
Peru has the highest cultivated diversity of peppers in the world. Among others, the most popular is Aji Amarillo. It is sweet and mildly hot. None can imagine Peruvian cuisine without this pepper.
Aji Rocoto is probably the top pepper in Peru in terms of heat. It can burn your tongue, especially if you confuse it with common pepper due to their similar look and take a big bite. Rocoto is popular in the highlands, where it is served stuffed.
Another worth mentioning is Aji Charapita. This tiny pale yellow chile can shock your mouth with its heat. It is usually served pickled in vinegar, but also it is a key ingredient of the favourite hot sauce in Iquito—aji de cocona.