Call them what you want (aji, chili, chilli, chile, uchu, ulupika, xili, tchili, hot peppers...whatever), the bottom line is that here at Aji Peru & Aji Los Andes, we LOVE "capsicum" (whether cousins C. annuum, C. frutescens, C. chinense,
or one of our own Andean favorites the C. pubescens
Just like their exact names, their exact genetic origin within America
causes some debate. If you think they evolved from somewhere else, then you should look for a different web page (or at least do some SERIOUS research!)
Our own position is that the uchu
(Quechua for "aji") originated in what is now Peru, just like the tomato and the potato, maiz / corn and even the mani or peanut. Others say Bolivia, Brazil, or even Colombia was their home before spreading (mostly by birds! - did you know that birds (unlike mammals) don't feel "the heat"?)
...THEN off they went through the rest of South, Central & North America and even the Carribean where ole´ Chris Columbus picked them up for their first trip to the "old world" (under the Nahuatl moniker "chili")
From there, they traveled on to India, Japan, the Phillipines and of course China - where chili is a key ingredient in "traditional" Szechuan ("Sichuan," etc. ) food (or regionalizedvariants: imagine General Tzo´s chicken without the Latin American contribution of potato starch (powdered chuño) (or just corn starch) for the batter, and of course the aji chilis for the BITE!).
But hey, we are all friends here - so its up to you to have your opinion on where in America our spicy friend was born!
Meantime, here at AjiLosAndes & AjiPeru we can share some great resources, news, recipes (or recipie links!), photos and whatever else related to our noble Capsicum
pepper friend - or any other exotic foods!
Unfortunately, due to massive abuse, we have had to disable our "sharing" page, since for every recipe or pepper photo there were 25 posts of online scam pharmacies. We are working to install a new (improved!) area for sharing.
Please be welcome...lets cook, eat and learn together!
The "Recipe" for a tasty Peruvian Aji Sauce, just like you will find in a favorite Huarique
(finshed prodcut is just above the Right Thinking Logo)
Rocoto/Locoto Pepper (C. pubescens)
(dont forget to take the veins/seeds out!),
Onion (diced, washed, then soaked),
Lime Juice (Limon sutil),
Spring Onion (the green part, save some for garnish), Garlic, Oil, Salt to taste
then just "liquify" in a blender
serve with anything, especially
"caldo de gallina," "tamales de chancho," & "arroz con pato"