Aji Cristal is extremely easy to grow and is a prolific producer of pods; just keep picking the largest pods, and the plant should continue producing through the growing season. We usually find this to be one of the first plants to produce pods each season.
This variety of chilli peppers originates from and is native to Curico, Chile. Currently, it is cultivated throughout Central America, including Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. Many local farmers and homesteads grow the Aji Cristal in central and southern America.
Seed Quantity: 15 Seeds
Species: Capsicum baccatum
Origin: Curico, Chile
Heat Level (Scoville Rating): Medium (20,000–30,000 SHU)
Pod Description: Aji Cristal chillies usually grow and mature to around 7–10 centimetres, are straight or have a slight curve to the pods, and are conical and elongated. When young, the skin is somewhat wrinkled and light green, maturing to a pale yellow and finally to orange or red. The medium-thick skin and flesh are crisp and juicy, and when tasted, they have a faint citrus flavour. It is preferred to harvest the chillies when they are still immature and light green, as the heat is less intense. When they finally mature to orange-red, the heat will develop along with the citrus flavour, which also carries a smokier fruit taste.
Also known as Aji Crystal
The plants themselves grow to around 60–90 cm if grown in a 30cm pot, but can exceed 100 cm if grown in larger pots or in the ground. The Aji Cristal is from the Capsicum Baccatum variety, which is one of the lesser-cultivated species; however, they are highly prolific producers.
Cooking and Eating
The Aji Cristal chilli is commonly used to make salsa pebre. This is usually made with onions, garlic, crystal chillies, oil, salt, and pepper. This would be served with bread and butter on tables in restaurants and can be used as a condiment for meats, sausages, or potatoes. When young peppers can be stuffed with cheese or rice, roasted or baked, and served as an appetiser, When mature, the red peppers can be pickled for extended use or dried to make chilli powder, used as a flavouring for cooked meats, stir-fries, and vegetable dishes. The young peppers will keep up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator, while more mature peppers will keep up to one week. Aji Cristal chile peppers can also be cooked, frozen, or pickled and stored for up to three months in the freezer or refrigerator.