Q: Hi Dave,
I write the “Eat Smart” series of culinary guidebooks and currently am working on "Eat Smart in Peru." The most commonly used chile pepper in Peru is the ‘Aji Amarillo’. I’m wondering if you know anyone who has successfully grown it in the U.S.? If so, maybe it’ll even grow in Wisconsin. I’m in the process of taste-testing the recipes given to me when I was on my research trip to Peru. I’d like to cook with fresh ‘Aji Amarillo’. I can get bottled, whole ‘Aji Amarillo’; ‘Aji Amarillo’ paste as well as frozen, whole ‘Aji Amarillo’ here in Madison (this is because we have a large Hispanic community in Madison). But, I really would like to work with the fresh peppers. Any help would be most appreciated.
A: Hello Joan:
It is easy to grow ’Aji Amarillo’ in the U.S. I’ve grown the variety many times in New Mexico. It will grow in Wisconsin if the plants are started early indoors, hardened off, and placed in the garden after the last freeze of the season. The plants grow tall and the pods are large. They are used both in their fresh and dried forms—and in the commercial products you mention.