Ají 101. Ají is pronounced AH-hee.
Ají picante 101 has been put together for those who think the only hot peppers in the world are those which are grown across the South of the Border. In fact, to this date, ?? The Bhut Jolokia holds the Guinness World Record as the world's hottest spice, recording over 1,000,000 Scoville units.?
http://phoenix.about.com/od/foodanddrink/ss/chilepepper_4.htm
Ah so Naga Jolokia pepper is new to you?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naga_Jolokia_pepper

In Colombia as in the rest of South America, Ajis have been grown for centuries, way before the arrival of today??s the new generation of immigrants from the US and Central America started to arrive in Colombia and on other countries in South America.

From my history book, Colombia History, 3rd grade:
"Most of the indigenous people were farmers, that is they worked on the land in which they seeded especially potatoes, corn, hibias and rubas, arracacha, beans, achiote and Ají" (hot peppers). Page 62
Historia de Colombia by Luis A. Barrios 3rd of Primary Education
Cultural Colombiana Ltda.

Would you like to know how HOT are your chiles or ajis? Click the link below.
Just How HOT Are My Chiles?
http://www.ushotstuff.com/Heat.Scale.htm

So all of the sudden you decide to travel to South America because the info posted on PBH, and you want to know more about Ajis and while you are there you decide to stop by Colombia to learn more about how many Ajis do they have down there?
Around 300 varieties listed. Click this link!
http://www.g6csy.net/chile/var-a.html

Click hear for more Ajis from Colombia and South America!
http://www.thechileman.org/results.php?page=6&;chile=1&find=aji&heat=Any&origin=Any&genus=Any
http://www.thechileman.org/results.php?page=8&;chile=1&find=aji&heat=Any&origin=Any&genus=Any

And by the way, gentlemen and ladies, just in case you do not know this historical fact, Ajís are grown for export and sold in Colombian in different cities or states (departamentos). For example; ??Cesar, el Valle, la Costa, Córdoba, Sucre, Bolívar? and in the Amazonas and Meta.
Ají picante en Codazzi
http://www.elheraldo.com.co/ELHERALDO/BancoConocimiento/A/agroajipicante/agroajipicante.asp?CodSeccion=16
SE PUSO PICANTE EL CULTIVO DEL AJI
http://aupec.univalle.edu.co/informes/mayo97/boletin36/aji.html

Aji colombiano - Fortalecimiento agroindustrial
http://www.youtube.com/v/2_Gzp7U-0bg&;hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash">http://www.youtube.com/v/2_Gzp7U-0bg&;hl=en&fs=1&" />http://www.youtube.com/v/2_Gzp7U-0bg&;hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344" allowscriptaccess="never" allownetworking="internal" />

I love aji with some of my meals but not every Colombian likes aji, however I was able to find from a 2004 post another guy on pbh who loves aji, so we are two of us now, just kidding. Check it out.

Chuck says on Oct 11, 2004, 15:53: flag
"I've seen some ají that bubbles in a Costeño restaurant! In Antioquia we love empanadas with ají, the stronger the better, but the strongest colombian made aji is made in a tiny restaurant on the Coveñas - Cartagena road. When I sat down on the table I noticed it was bubbling. I added some to my SOPA and it turned it into an acid bath!"
http://cms.poorbuthappy.com/colombia/post/some-like-it-hot/

I traveled in September of this year to Colombia, Chile and Peru to purchase aji and here are some of the photos:

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f260/monpirri/PHOTOS141.jpg" border="0" alt="Aji colombiano" />http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f260/monpirri/PHOTOS140.jpg" border="0" alt="Aji colombiano" />http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f260/monpirri/PHOTOS170.jpg" border="0" alt="Aji from Chile, Peru and Colombia" />http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f260/monpirri/PHOTOS166.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket" />http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f260/monpirri/PHOTOS167.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket" />http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f260/monpirri/PHOTOS175.jpg" border="0" alt="Aji colombiano" />
Empanadas con aji.

So next time you are looking for recipes for aji, now you know more about ajis (hot peppers) from Colombia and South America and if you are the daring type you may want to try a domestic product or one of the hottest Colombian ajis.
http://poorbuthappy.com/colombia/post/recipes-for-aj/

Posted on October 31, 2009


You might also like:

Comments:

Monporri,

Aji or pice casera is very good in Colombia, especially when it is made in Colombia, but it still cannot compare to the varieties made in Mexico. Especially with tomatillo.

Aji in the bottle is a travesty. If you are ever in Manizales I will take you to a resturant that has one that makes you sweat by looking at it.

I suggest you visit New Mexico during Christmas. They make spectacular salsas during the holiday season.


salsas-at-a-mexican-taco-stand.jpg

Posted on October 31, 2009


I think the Aji fruco makes is great as a hot wing sauce. Not super hot but it has a nice flavor.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Hey brother, thanks for your comment, but I have the hottest aji from Colombia, especially from Villavo and the Amazons. I myself brought one with me last year when I visited Barranquilla, that stuff is HOT!!
The last photo has an aji picante that I made and now they are using it in a Colombian restaurant here in the state.

Posted on October 31, 2009


theflatline says on Oct 31, 2009, 13:56 (today): flag
Aji in the bottle is a travesty. If you are every in Manizales I will take you to a resturant that has one that makes you sweat by looking at it.
----------------------------------------------
So was the whole thing about Colombian food being bland and crappy blown out of proportion or is it just bland, crappy, and sometimes burns the mouth?

Posted on October 31, 2009


Woode,

I grew up in New Orleans which is a mix between Spanish, French, and Italian Cuisine, all very traditional.

Colombia has good simple food, just a bit plain.

Posted on October 31, 2009


That's your opinion and would bet you that you have not been in the restaurants and other food places that I have been in Colombia.
You are another, in my humble opinion, just another rookie in Colombia.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Monpirri,

I am citizen and have been living and traveling on and off in Colombia since 1989.

I think Colombia has great food, do not get me wrong. But I would place New Orleans, San Francisco, and New York and miles ahead of Colombia when it comes to culinary delights. Especially when you have the food of many cultures prepared correctly in one place.

My Colombian grandmother was one the hand downs best cooks whose food I have ever tasted, whose skills unfortunately passed away with her.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Flatline, we should open taqueria franchises all over Colombia.....serve Mexican food, tequilla, salsas picantes, and beer.......lets give Colombia a taste of real food.....what say you?

Posted on October 31, 2009


miguel,

I agree, we would make a fortune.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Imagine all of Colombia eating Mexican food/beer only?.....wow.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Great idea and while you are dealing with the Colombians to begin the exportation of mexican food why don't you stop by Peru, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and the rest of the Latin Americans countries because they are dying for your great food.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Monpirri,

All of those countries have great food. Where did I mention them?

Posted on October 31, 2009


When I started coming regularly to Colombia, I was offered some "picante"; a choice of green or red. I tried them both and never imagined that there was any kind of pepper in the salsa. Being from St. Kitts in the Caribbean, we are used to a hot sauce made from scotch bonnet peppers. (I see on your posted scale of "hotness" they come in at 150,000-325,000; same as the orange habanero.) I have started bringing a bottle or two of this hot sauce with me. In my colombian home, only the misses will use it; and she uses a hell of a lot more than I do. The others will run away screaming when they see the bottle come out.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Hey Great Idea, MP! We could franchise out and take over SA! It is just what they need~~~~~~ Great Mexican Food!!!

Posted on October 31, 2009


Sure they love your food, they are dying just like the Colombians...You are a Genious.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Monpirri,

Este Flatline es como es nuevo JD (el gordo HP ese de ColombianBlog). Este es un gringo que tiene papá Colombiano y se la pasa hablando estupideces de Colombia por estos foros. No le pares bolas.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Simon, a mi parece que Flatline es el mismo Miguel Clavo, la razon que yo pienso de esa manera es porque los dos salen al frente y son los primeros que ponen comentarios cuando el tema tiene que ver con alguna realidad y embarazosa sobre el pais de los tacos.

Posted on October 31, 2009


And perhaps you too who live in the states, and love to talk trash about the country where you prosper, should go to Vermont and get married.

I love Colombia, but I also love the truth and both of you would be better off realizing that you do more harm to the country aggrandizing its qualities than good.

Simon were you not born in the states? Again, like I always say, when you had your back against the wall having to show your libreta militar so you do not get conscripted, then you you can talk to me about being fucking Colombian.

Or lived in Colombia during Pablo days. Or when you could not even buy chapstick on the country.

I love Colombia, but you need to get a clue.

Simon,

You lived for a year in Miami, which has more gringos than south Florida.

Posted on October 31, 2009


La razón por la cual lo comparo con JD es porque dice que es Colombiano pero ambos son más gringos que el tío Sam.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Simon, hear you.
Permiso me voy a ira a comer mi tamal tolimence con aji don berraco.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Ai, que rico! Me antojaste, parcero!

LONG LIVE COLOMBIAN FOOD!!!

Posted on October 31, 2009


''And perhaps you too who live in the states, and love to talk trash about the country where you prosper,"

When do I ever open thread bashing the US? I dare you to find one! And if I ever make any unflattering comments, it's usually a rebuttal to some gringo jerk who is bashing Colombia first!

Posted on October 31, 2009


Simon,

You bashed the US by stating they only provided the transponder in the rescue.

1. They provided the satellite imagery.
2. They provided the location of the rebels
3. the US special forces guys who had been tracking the rebels on the ground.
4. the jamming and intercepting of rebel radio broadcasts.
5, transponders on the soldiers and the choppers.

If you would say Colombia aided by the US, then I would have taken it much better. Because without admitting the rescue would have been possible without US aid, you insult the country where you live.

Posted on October 31, 2009


guys guys, calm down.

I love Colombia, but like Flatline, find my favourite food elsewhere. Is that such a crime?

that being said... awesome thread. I will make sure to bring back some high-quality aji next time in i'm Colombia

Posted on October 31, 2009


manred,

All I did was point out that Mexicans tend to make a better hot sauce then Colombians. As a matter of fact, many restaurants in Colombia do not have a pepper shaker.

Posted on October 31, 2009


??If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home. You are like a pebble thrown into water; you become wet on the surface, but are never part of the water"-James Michener "The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." -St. Augustine

Posted on October 31, 2009


Flatline, I agree with that. Mexico is known for its love of spices, and my mexican friends eat more spice in one spoonfull than I can handle in one meal.

Posted on October 31, 2009


That's because that's all they did provide!

1. What satellite imagery? Yeah, mucho good satellite imagery is gonna do in a tree-covered jungle!
2.The location of the rebels was provided by the FARC deserter.
3. What US Special forces in Colombia? Since when? It was the Colombian Special Forces who reported that weeks before the rescue to having seen the 3 gringos bathing in a river!
4. Pure fiction! Do you make this stuff up? I'm sure when Hollywood makes the movie, they'll throw that in, as well as how it was actually all US anglo soldiers who were aboard that helicopter passing themselves off as humanitarian workers! Lol
5. Yes, that was the bulk of their assistance.

And trying to downplay Colombia's role in this successful rescue mission is an insult to the country where your father was born!

Posted on October 31, 2009


Why cant you guys just admit that Colombian food is bland, has no flavor, is overcooked, and overall just sucks? Lets replace it with great tasting mexican food.....mexican beer.....and everything mexican. Oh, i know why.....both of you clowns dont even live in Colombia.....you live in the US and you have the equivalent to penile envy with regards to colombian and mexican food. I mean, the Mexicans are taking over the US, so Central and South America will be next...piece of cake, brah..The mexican food invasion is the next Global Crisis! Who you gonna call.....?

Posted on October 31, 2009


Monpirri,

I do no reject the food or fear the people. But however I do not put my blind faith in Colombia or the US. By the way I have a one way ticket to Colombia in November. Do you are Simon?

Nice, you must have swiped it out of this guys profile, even the puncuation. http://poorbuthappy.com/benj/

I like St, Augustine, the holy hypocrite. He drank and fucked and then repented, of course after he drank and fucked.

Posted on October 31, 2009


I love basic natural tasting food, it's fantastic and I cook a lot of my food at home that way, but I'm with MC, Man in Red and TFL on this. Does that make me a rookie gringa that should stay at home because I'm rejecting the food in another country? hmmm so be it. Don't really care. I love hot peppers, hot sauce etc... BUT IMO, just because a pepper is HOT or a sauce is HOT does not make it good. Also, if the food on your plate needs hot sauce to make it edible..well you get the idea. The trick is to get the heat and compliment the food. What's the point if you can't taste your meal. You might as well just sit down with a bowl of peppers. And THAT'S what the Mexican's seem to have to an art. And I'm not talking Taco Bell or Tex Mex.

Papi de Alejo - hot sauce made from scotch bonnet peppers is great!!! I've had it.

PS: When I travel to Cuba I carry a shaker of much needed red pepper chili flakes in my purse ;)

Posted on October 31, 2009


??If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home. You are like a pebble thrown into water; you become wet on the surface, but are never part of the water"-James Michener "The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." -St. Augustine

Posted on October 31, 2009


I do live in Bogotá and both Mexican and Colombian food is good. I know most of the Mexican restaurants in Bogotá. There is one that was called Frida and now it is call La Casa Azul in Usaquen, it has three floors.

Posted on October 31, 2009


''Why cant you guys just admit that Colombian food is bland, has no flavor, is overcooked, and overall just sucks?''

That's not what Anthony Bourdain said, and he knows a hell of a lot more about food than you do!

Posted on October 31, 2009


Usted es voltiarepas mas grande que tiene Colombia, no pudo buscar nada sobre el aji carquin en el retrepo, no pudo averiguar nada sobre el festival de la chicha en Bogota, no puede poner nada sobre la gastronomia colombiana y vive en Bogota, solo se lo pasa de cheerleader de pancho villa.

Posted on October 31, 2009


OMG, I was out at a dinner last night, and we had a little red pepper and cut it up in to pieces about the size of grains of rice. My g/f's roll touched the pepper pieces and she couldn't believe how hot it was. Soooo me being me, curious, popped a piece in my mouth, remember, size of a grain of rice!! The entire left side of my mouth went numb for a short time hahahaa.

Posted on October 31, 2009


"I like St, Augustine, the holy hypocrite. He drank and fucked and then repented, of course after he drank and fucked"
(Flats)
El que reza y peca empata. The ultimate Colombian paradigm.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Because we are all eating San Cocho on a rooftop in Medellin with parceros? Or calentados en la costa? When most Colombians eat more repollo than pollo? Hell, I did not see him eating an almuerzo ejecutivo.

Bourdain is great but he never says anything is bland or bad, would not make for good tv.

Monporri, I never said Colombia had bad food, just said there are some I consider better.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Desi, you are talking in la huella's terms.
El que anda con la miel algo se le pega...

Posted on October 31, 2009


La Huella does not even have a refrigerator, so I am unsure what he eats.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Monpirry no trates a Simon de voltearepas.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Theflatline, not only you detoured this topic from aji from Colombia and South America to the stuff from the land MC, you are also noisy because I'm not talking to you.

Posted on October 31, 2009


"Monpirri says on Oct 31, 2009, 18:38 (today): flag

Theflatline, not only you detoured this topic from aji from Colombia and South America to the stuff from the land MC, you are also noisy because I'm not talking to you." Monporri

someone want to translate this for me? What IS he talking about?

He puts people on ignore because they prefer food from some country other than Colombia? This is GregYawn material. Classic.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Aji... OK OK here I am. One at a time please, my how my public adores me!

Posted on October 31, 2009


Aji from South America
From left to right; aji from Barranquilla, aji from Chile, aji from Colombia and aji from Peru. In the front plate more aji from Colombia.

Aji Rocoto from Peru
Here are the info that my friend from Peru sent me about some of their ajis:
AJI MONO, ES UN AJI MUY PEQUE?O DE APROX. 3 CM. PERO EL MAS PICATE QUE HAY EN EL PERU.
SON DE COLOR ROJO INTENSO SE UTILIZA MUCHO EN EL CEVICHE.
AJI ROCOTO; SU FORMA ES COMO UNA MANZANA, SON DE COLOR ROJO Y VERDE
SE UTILIZA EN EL ROCOTO RELLENO.
AJI PANCA, SON DE COLR MARRON COMO UN AJI TRADICIONAL
SE UTILIZA EN LAS COMIDAS DE LA CARAPULCRAS.


Aji from Chile
From Chile I purchased this one.

Aji Yacare
Here are a few Ajis I found on my short trip to Colombia: aji yacare, yuquitania, ratan, aji naranja?I will come back to Colombia to find the rest of thse unknown ajis and give them their proper credit.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Aji en NYC
Welcome back Aji 1!

Posted on October 31, 2009


Heres a question for all those linguists out there: if Monporri says it is pronounced AH-hee like in the title, then why is the accent above the i as in ají? Dyslexic, anyone?

And a shout out for Monporri in showing us peppers from countries other than Colombia. I am sure that he is balanced and fair in his reporting on peppers, and photos of chiles/chili sauces from Mexico will be forthcoming. Right?

Posted on October 31, 2009


Don't worry MC you have the best food in the world. The photos are from South America and when I visit your land I will post pictures from Central America.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Finally, you come out of the closet! Doesnt it feel great to get that heavy burden off your chest. You can breath easier now, hold your head high in public. Congratulations, MP!

Posted on October 31, 2009


Mompirry as a few others can´t mantain a balance debate without atacking other posters or communities , ie México, Medellín.



Posted on October 31, 2009


I am in Colombia, MP, where are you?

Posted on October 31, 2009


Webmanco alias colombiano, do you know where I can find aji carquin in Bogota? Perhaps you can guide us through Colombia's best restaurants and please do post some attractive photographs or hire a proffessional photographer, bear in the mind that the whole world is looking at them.
Do you know when the "Festival de la Chicha" starts next year or this year?

Posted on October 31, 2009


Monpirri do a google search. I would post information at the time I find right.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Please post a complete info not just the colombiche ad, do you mind telling us what is in the pan?

Posted on October 31, 2009


Hola! Love the post and resulting discussions (save the senseless arguments of course). I personally LOVE spicy foods and greatly enjoyed reading the thread and attached articles. Naturally, I gotta share a little story with all of you fellow spice lovers...

I recently lived in China for 2 years and was in Shandong Province a few months ago. There is a famous restaurant there (sorry, don't know the English language equivalent name or Pin Yin) which is reputed as having the spiciest chicken in all of China. Needless to say, the recipe is a long-kept secret so the exact spices are not known. Anyway, there is a standing challenge for anyone brave enough to try: if you can eat 6 of their hottest wings, you get to put your name up on the wall of the restaurant as a token of fame and accomplishment. Oh, and the [$0.75] cost of the meal is waived. :) To my knowledge, only 4 people have made it to the wall in the history of the restaurant. Well, my teenage students knew that I was a crazy spice lover, so of course they insisted upon taking me there for a meal. I was obliged. Happily. I was sure to eat a full meal before going there knowing that A, it would be a good idea to not eat this ridiculously spicy chicken on an empty stomach, and B, knowing that I would have a severe stomach ache anyway for days and might as well fuel up before hand. Over the course of about a half hour, I managed to eat about 2.5 of those little buggers and darn near had to go to the hospital (most people who try this have had to go to the hospital, a common occurrence apparently). It's hard to explain in words the sensations I felt...I was aloof as though in a dream state, sweating like mad, shaking, my entire face was numb, and I think my breath alone could have given the devil himself a run for his life. I was, in a sense, a fire-breathing dragon in China. My students had to steer me away from the local petro station afterwords...

So my post doesn't really have a point other than to share a friendly story with fellow spice-heads. If any of you folks ever have the urge to visit this elusive and mysterious restaurant, hit me up and I'll put you in touch with some locals who can show you to the restaurant! And keep the sexy, spicy posts rolling!

Posted on October 31, 2009


Kenzie have you ever tries hot sauce made from scotch bonnet peppers?

Posted on October 31, 2009


Not that I'm directly aware of, but possible. Why do you ask?

Posted on October 31, 2009


Not sure if it's as hot as the seasoning that you experienced in China; but I remember once mixing two different bottles and the resulting chemical reaction caused so much pressure that when I opened the bottle some time later, the contents were prominently displayed on the ceiling. Even the drops that fell on my skin burned; akin to what I think acid would have felt like. But I love it's flavor.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Papi de Alejo says on Nov 2, 2009, 10:09 (today): flag

"the contents were prominently displayed on the ceiling"

Papi, mentos and diet coke. Same thing.

Posted on October 31, 2009


It took several days or weeks to ferment. I did not expect this. And just touching it burned my skin.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Papi de Alejo says on Nov 2, 2009, 10:16 (today): flag

"It took several days or weeks to ferment. I did not expect this. And just touching it burned my skin."

hahaha damn. I want some of that on my food! I'm such a fockin moron I actually do. ;)

Posted on October 31, 2009


mmm, tastes like burning! the way it should be!

Posted on October 31, 2009


Kenzie, if you are around in December, I'll sned you an Americanized sample.

jimbo, where are you located? Let's see if I can share my culture with you.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Papi, you're in Med? Yes I will be here. I would love a sample! Thank you in advance!

Posted on October 31, 2009


No. I'll be in Santa Marta from 12/12 through Christmas weekend. I'll arrange it then.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Kenziejones, it is a very interesting story and thanks for sharing it!
My two cents: There is a local Thai Chili restaurant where I (or sometimes we) go once week and order the very same soup, it's a broth with chicken meat, wild mushrooms, cilantro and some wild and hot peppers. The waitress always asks us how hot we want it and we say 6. The scale is from 6 to 10.
I must say once you try it... Boy once you start eating the tasty and spicy soup you a feel a rush or the effect of the Thai hot pepper going through your nostrils and immediately after a lovely mild burning sensation on your mouth and lips and of course your smelling sense is completely enhanced! If you know what I mean.

Posted on October 31, 2009


Monpirri,

Yeah? Is this "local" place here in Med? I would love to experience it! If it is indeed in Med, please let's hook up and go there sometime! Send me an email here on PBH...

Posted on October 31, 2009


Sorry buddy, Thai Chili in not in Med is in Texas.

More info about ajis.
http://www.thechileman.org/guide_countries.php
http://www.g6csy.net/chile/var-a.html

Posted on October 31, 2009


I just found a note with two more ajis from my recent trip to Colombia: Aji Chirca and Aji Chicha de Perro.

More about ajis:
http://www.g6csy.net/chile/var-a.html

Posted on October 31, 2009