Capsicum baccatum

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Capsicum baccatum
Pimiento campanilla.jpg
Bishop's crown fruits
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
Species: C. baccatum
Binomial name
Capsicum baccatum
L.
Synonyms[1][2]
  • Capsicum cerasiflorum Link
  • Capsicum chamaecerasus Nees
  • Capsicum ciliare Willd.
  • Capsicum conicum Vell.
  • Capsicum microcarpum Cav.
  • Capsicum pendulum Willd.
  • Capsicum praetermissum Heiser & P.G.Sm.
  • Capsicum pulchellum Salisb.
  • Capsicum umbilicatum Vell.

Capsicum baccatum is a species of chili pepper that includes the following cultivars:

Etymology[edit]

Some form of the word Ají has been used since approximately 4600 BCE. It was first used in the protolanguage Otomanguean. It then spread along with the Capsicum fruit from Mexico to other pepper growing regions. Capsicum baccatum is still referred to as aji, while other peppers are referred to as pepper because of Spanish conquistadors mistaking it for Piper sp.[4]

Its Latin binomial is made up of Capsicum from the Greek kapos,and baccatum meaning berry-like.

Origins and distribution[edit]

The C. baccatum species, particularly the Ají amarillo chili, has its origins in ancient Peru and across the Andean region of South America.[5] It is typically associated with Peruvian cuisine, and is considered part of its condiment trinity together with red onion and cilantro. Ají amarillo literally means yellow chili; however, the yellow color appears when cooked, as the mature pods are bright orange.

Cultivated baccatum (C. baccatum var. pendulum) is the domesticated pepper of choice of Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.[6]

Description[edit]

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-pollinated. 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 flavor.

Culinary usage[edit]

Ají amarillo

Yellow ají is one of the ingredients of Peruvian cuisine and Bolivian cuisine. It is used as a condiment, especially in many dishes and sauces. In Peru the chilis are mostly used fresh, and in Bolivia dried and ground. Common dishes with ají "amarillo" are the Peruvian stew Ají de Gallina ("Hen Chili"), Huancaina sauce and the Bolivian Fricase Paceno, among others. In Ecuadorian cuisine, Ají amarillo, onion, and lemon juice (amongst others) are served in a separate bowl with many meals as an optional additive.

In Colombian cuisine, Peruvian Cuisine, and Ecuadorian cuisine, ají (sauce) is also a common condiment.

Other Uses[edit]

Ají Amarillo Pepper. Moche Culture. Larco Museum Collection.

The Moche culture often represented fruits and vegetables in their art, including Ají amarillo peppers.[7]

South American farmers also grow C. baccatum as ornamental plants for export.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Plant List". 
  2. ^ "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  3. ^ a b c Dave DeWitt and Paul W. Bosland (2009). The Complete Pepper Book: A Gardener's Guide to Choosing, Growing, Preserving, and Cooking. Timber Press. ISBN 978-0881929201. 
  4. ^ Kraft, Kraig (2014). "Multiple lines of evidence for the origin of domesticated chili pepper, Capsicum annuum, in Mexico". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 
  5. ^ Rêgo, Elizanilda Ramalho do; Rêgo, Mailson Monteiro do; Cruz, Cosme Damião; Finger, Fernando Luiz; Casali, Vicente Wagner Dias (2010-11-09). "Phenotypic diversity, correlation and importance of variables for fruit quality and yield traits in Brazilian peppers (Capsicum baccatum)". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 58 (6): 909–918. doi:10.1007/s10722-010-9628-7. ISSN 0925-9864. 
  6. ^ "Genetic diversity in Capsicum baccatum is significantly influenced by its ecogeographical distribution". BMC Genetics. 13 (68). 2012. doi:10.1186/1471-2156-13-68. 
  7. ^ Berrin, Katherine & Larco Museum. The Spirit of Ancient Peru:Treasures from the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997.

External links[edit]