Species: Capsicum Chinense
Heat Level: 500 to 1,500 SHU (Scoville heat units )
This mild Peruvian pepper is the second most common pepper in Peru. Growing mainly along the coastline of Peru, it matures to a burgundy red color, and grows to 3-5 inches in length. The Aji Panca is fruity and sweet, with surprisingly complex flavors of blueberry, smoke, and citrus. Aji Panca is a close relative of the Aji Amarillo, but with a brighter, fresher flavor that doesn’t taste cooked even after drying or cooking down to a paste. It is used in stews, soups, ground into sauces, grated and tossed into foods just before serving, and rubbed into meats before grilling or roasting. Mixed with lime juice and olive oil, it is wonderful as a dressing for an Avocado salad. When processed to a paste with garlic, salt, and olive oil, it’s the perfect rub for a quick kebab or roast.