Ají dulce

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Puerto Rican ajicitos

Ají dulce (from South American Spanish ají, "chili" + Spanish dulce, "sweet") or or Aji Cachucha or ajicito is any of a variety of sweet perennial peppers found in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is most widely known in Venezuela where it refers to a specific native variety of Capsicum chinense related to the habanero, but with a much milder, smoky flavour.

In Venezuela, the "ají dulce" is a key ingredient in the preparation of the paramount dish of the Venezuelan cuisine, the Hallaca; and one of the cornerstones of the national cuisine.

In Dominican Republic, Cuba and Puerto Rico, the "ají dulce" or "ajicito" is grown commercially and is an important ingredient for sauces, such as recaíto, sofrito and "mojito isleño" (a fish or meat sauce) as well as stews, rice and a great variety of local dishes.[1]

All Capsicum chinense originally come from the Brazilian Amazon, Spanish colonist brought Capsicum chinense to the Caribbean where on the English speaking islands heat was selected for while on the Spanish speaking islands sweetness was selected.[1] The fruit of aji dulce can be used green or ripe, and it can be seeded and frozen for use over the winter, a technique that also preserves its rich flavor much better than drying. It is a small, light green pepper that turns red (or yellow) if left long enough on the plant.[1] It has the shape and size of a habanero pepper without the intense heat. Occasionally, there can be some ají dulce fruit that is pungent, probably due to out-crossing with other hot pepper plants. [1] In the tropics, this plant can grow as a perennial, although most of the commercial production is with annual systems.[1]

Bowl of Aji Dulce Peppers
The Plant

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Mangan, Frank; Barros, Zoraia. "Ají dulce". World Crops. UMass Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  • Weaver, William Woys. (2000) 100 Vegetables and Where They Came From. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books. ISBN 1-56512-238-0