The name Aji Habanero is truly misleading as many of us mistake it to be the regular Habanero. These two are totally distinct peppers belonging to two different species of capsicum. This diminutive little pepper belongs to Capsicum baccatum and the standard Habanero belongs to Capsicum Chinense species.
For some, the name Habanero can be a little scary but don’t be fooled in this case. The Aji Habanero has only a fraction of the heat of regular habanero though they both have similar appearance and flavor.
What Is Aji Habanero?
Aji Habanero is sweet little pepper that is believed to be originated in Costa Rica. The pods are about 2.5 inches long and three-quarters of an inch diameter in width. This chili matures from green to pale yellow to orange and grows on a shrub-like plant that grows about 3 feet tall. This pod-like shaped pepper has small wrinkles on the skin, unlike regular habanero which tends to be smooth and glossy.
Aji Habanero is a sweet Baccatm pepper with a regular habanero-like flavor and appearance. This pepper is mostly used in some mildly hot dishes, especially in Costa Rican cuisines.
How Hot Is Aji Habanero?
This pepper has just a tiny fraction of the heat of the regular habanero. In fact, it’s a very mild pepper with minimum heat and more of a sweet, fruity flavor. The heat level ranges between 5,000 to 10,000 SHU on the Scoville Scale. At its peak, Aji Habanero is just two times hotter than Jalapeno. Heat-wise, it’s similar to Aji Fantasy, Chipotle, or Aji Lemon Drop pepper.
Flavor And Uses
Aji Habanero is good pepper for people who love mild peppers. A blend of the sweet and tangy tastes of this pepper is ideal for vegetable dishes, soups, and sauces. The minimal heat of this pepper is tolerable and enjoyable for everyone. The flavor has a delicious smoky spiciness typical of the famous Habanero. Bright yellow to orange color is a wonderful eye-catcher especially when they are used in soups and garnish for salads and other dishes. This rare pepper is suitable for making mild pepper flakes and powder. Undoubtedly, sweet and moderately hot peppers are most tasty when eaten fresh, or as a garnish in a salad or burger filler.
Other Varieties Of Aji Peppers
There are many different strains of Peruvian and South American aji peppers and here are the links to some of the most popular aji peppers: