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 is 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 and 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 onto orange/red. The medium-thick skin and flesh are crisp and juicy, when tasted they have a faint citrus flavour. It is favoured 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 that 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 & Eating
The Aji Cristal chilli is commonly used to make salsa pebre. This is usually made with onions, garlic, cristal chillies, oil, salt and pepper. This would be served with bread and butter on tables in restaurants and can be used as a condiment to 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 and frozen or pickled and stored for up to three months in the freezer or refrigerator.