Aji Amarillo-the yellow chilli!
This article is about a very special type of chilli, the Aji Amarillo! Learn, among other things, where these chilies have their origin and how they can be grown, even in our climates!
What kind does the Aji Amarillo belong to?
The Aji Amarillo belongs to the species Capsicum baccatum. Typical of this species is the enormous, bushy growth. The leaves of the plant alone reach sizes of up to 30 cm. The expansively growing plants are of course also, according to their size, very productive. Another distinguishing feature of Capsicum baccatum are the, also very large, flowers of the plant, as they have typical spots at their bottom. Of course, plants of this size also develop correspondingly large chilies, the Aji Amarillo is up to 12 cm long and about 4 cm wide. To carry this burden, the plants form a particularly thick trunk. But there is another peculiarity that is worth mentioning - like some other nightshade plants - the flowers of Capsicum baccatum emit a unique scent as soon as they are touched. The Aji Amarillo has, like other Capsicum baccatum varieties also, the following characteristics, with the help of which it is very easy to recognize:
- bushy habit
- very large leaves
- large flowers with typical spots at the bottom
- high yield of large chilies
Where does the Aji Amarillo come from?
Originally, the Aji Amarillo comes from the Amazon rainforests and from the coast of Peru. The plant has been growing there since around 2,500 BC. Honored by the Aztecs, and even today, the yellow chilli is an integral part of the traditional fish dish ceviche. The species owes its name to the Spanish sailors, who call the fiery fruit "yellow chilli". Meanwhile, the Aji Amarillo is very popular with real Chiliheads all over the world. Even today, this exceptional variety of chilli is cultivated in their area of origin, or it is harvested from the wild.
How does the yellow pod taste?
In addition to a sense of strong heat in the mouth, you can also taste the specific of the Aji Amarillo. The beautiful, yellow pods develop a very aromatic, fresh taste. These two experiences in the mouth, paired, provide a real treat for every real chilihead, so we are really excited about this chilli. Not without reason, this chilli is often one of the key ingredients in delicious salsas and hot sauces. Aji Amarillo is a thin-walled variety of chilli, which is why it can be dried very well and processed into powder. Such a fruity-spicy spice is suitable for refining many different dishes. Your imagination has, as so often, no limits in the kitchen. In the South American region, the Aji Amarillo, the yellow chilli pepper traditionally becomes a spicy chilli paste. In addition to the chilies, the spicy paste also contains onions and coriander.
How can this wonderful plant be cultivated here?
Due to the warm and humid climate in the region of origin, it is best to grow these chilies in our climate, in a greenhouse. There, the required climatic conditions can be created as best as possible. If you want to be sure that your plants can thrive well, you should also use heating mats in your greenhouse. But even in a flowerpot, under the open sky, Aji Amarillo can breed, but this should be large enough (at least 20 l) and make sure you place the pot in a very sunny and warm place. If you only have a smaller pot available, you can try to stabilize it with counterweights so that it does not tip over because of the plant's heavy weight. However, the flower pot may not be much smaller, because the heart roots of the plant will otherwise have no room for their development. As a result, the plant would not extract enough nutrients from the soil and, in the worst case, it might even wither away. Speaking of soil, this should be sufficiently watered and fertilized, so that the really big plant can supply all the individual flowers with energy. How the breeding of South American chilies works in our latitudes, is again listed in the following points:
- The plants thrive best in the greenhouse or in a sunny spot.
- The flowerpot has to be big!
- The plant must be sufficiently watered and fertilized!
Aji Amarillo can also hibernate!
Like all other chilli plants, the Aji Amarillo is not winter proof either. At the first frost the death of the plant is inevitable. However, to enjoy your chilli plant for several years and the self-harvested pods, it is of course possible to let it hibernate in the greenhouse. However, some factors must be considered during this wintering to achieve the desired result. Of course, the "hibernation" of the plant must take place indoors, due to possible frost damage. In order for the plant to be able to produce numerous, yellow pods again in the coming season, it must be trimmed in the fall, after the harvest. In this way, the plant will have enough strength to form new shoots next year. So that you can let the Aji Amarillo hibernate we have summarized once more the important points for you:
- The Aji Amarillo plant must be kept inside.
- After the harvest in autumn, you should cut back the plant so that new shoots can form in the spring.
The fiery conclusion is:
The Aji Amarillo or in English the yellow chilli belongs to the Art Capsicum baccatum. Like all other varieties of this species, it is quite large and therefore very productive. A single leaf can grow up to 30 centimeters. The area of origin is located in South America, more precisely on the coast of Peru and in the Amazon jungle. For this reason, a successful cultivation in colder latitudes succeeds best in a greenhouse or in a sunny location. If the plant is grown outdoors in a pot, it may fall over due to its own weight. In order for the plant to develop magnificently, the flower pot should not be too small. Although the Aji Amarillo plant cannot tolerate frost, it can hibernate, but not outdoors of course. The yellow chilli is not only spicy but it also tastes good. The fruity taste is of course the reason why this variety is often used as an ingredient for a salsa or a hot sauce. In South America, this variety often forms the basis for a tasty chilli paste.