Capsicum Baccatum

Capsicum Baccatum Plant Information

Capsicum Baccatum grows in the following 12 states:

Arizona, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, New York, Texas, Virginia

Capsicum baccatum is a species of chili pepper that includes the following cultivars:

Some form of the word Aj has been used since approximately 4600 BCE. It was first used in the protolanguage Otomanguean. It then spread along with the Capsicum fruit from Mexico to other pepper growing regions. Capsicum baccatum is still referred to as aji, while other peppers are referred to as pepper because of Spanish conquistadors mistaking it for Piper sp.
Its Latin binomial is made up of Capsicum from the Greek kapos,and baccatum meaning berry-like.
The C. baccatum species, particularly the Aj amarillo chili, has its origins in ancient Peru and across the Andean region of South America. It is typically associated with Peruvian cuisine, and is considered part of its condiment trinity together with red onion and cilantro. Aj amarillo literally means yellow chili; however, the yellow color appears when cooked, as the mature pods are bright orange.
Cultivated baccatum (C. baccatum var. pendulum) is the domesticated pepper of choice of Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile.
Pepper varieties in the C. baccatum species have white or cream colored flowers, and typically have a green or gold corolla. The flowers are either insect or self-pollinated. The fruit pods of the baccatum species have been cultivated into a wide variety of shapes and sizes, unlike other capsicum species, which tend to have a characteristic shape. The pods typically hang down, unlike a Capsicum frutescens plant, and can have a citrus or fruity flavor.
Yellow aj is one of the ingredients of Peruvian cuisine and Bolivian cuisine. It is used as a condiment, especially in many dishes and sauces. In Peru the chilis are mostly used fresh, and in Bolivia dried and ground. Common dishes with aj "amarillo" are the Peruvian stew Aj de Gallina ("Hen Chili"), Huancaina sauce and the Bolivian Fricase Paceno, among others. In Ecuadorian cuisine, Aj amarillo, onion, and lemon juice (amongst others) are served in a separate bowl with many meals as an optional additive.
In Colombian cuisine, Peruvian Cuisine, and Ecuadorian cuisine, aj (sauce) is also a common condiment.
The Moche culture often represented fruits and vegetables in their art, including Aj amarillo peppers.
South American farmers also grow C. baccatum as ornamental plants for export.

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