WHAT IS IT?
If you’ve ever marveled at the color, and flavor, of the brilliant yellow sauce over fish, or chicken, in a Peruvian restaurant, aji amarillo (yellow pepper) is the hugely flavorful chile behind the flave!
At 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, you would expect aji amarillo to be a pepper used sparingly. Like the Peruvian pastes, this ground powder is a LOW HEAT, HIGH FLAVOR version. If you strip out the pith, and the seeds, the fruitiness of the pepper shines through.
Native to Peru and Bolivia, aji amarillo is a thick-fleshed chile pepper that is considered part of the ‘holy trinity’ of Peruvian cuisine.
- Tacu Tacu
- Ají de Gallina
- Ají Mirasol
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Aji and Akee Fried Rice – A spicy, and lightly sweet fried rice, with bits of plantain riffs Jamaica and Peru.
- Peruvian pot pie – Traditional American/English pot pie with aji amplification;
- German soft pretzel with aji-queso dip;
- Ensalata Fujimori – Named after a past Peruvian president, Alberto Fujimori, this riff on a traditional Asian carrot-ginger dressing over greens gets a big aji amplification;
- Savory corn and shrimp muffins, with aji amarillo.
Ají Amarillo were a staple pepper in the ancient Incan diet. It is believed, by some Peruvian paleobotanists, that chile peppers originated in the Lake Titicaca basin of Upper Peru, and Bolivia. Archaeological evidence in Guitarreo Cave, in Yungay province, dates back to at least 8,000 BCE. Graves at the archaelogical site at Huaca Prieta, in Chicama Valley extensively used the fruit 2,500 BCE.
Aji Amarillo were part of the offerings to the the Incan gods in their ceremonies. They considered chiles sacred symbols. Andean paquos still use them in divination and possession rituals. Abstaining of them was part of a ritual Incan fasting tribute to the earth-mother goddess Pachamama.
- amarillo chili
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