Aji, or chile peppers, are native to Peru, and the country boasts many distinct indigenous varieties that are used as a base for most of Peruvian traditional cooking. The aji paste is made from fresh aji, pureed and pasteurized.
AJI AMARILLO Aji amarillo is the most common type of aji and is one of the most important ingredients in Peruvian cooking. It has a heat level of 6. Although they are named yellow pepper their color changes to orange as they mature.
AJI LIMO Mostly grown and used on the northern coast of Peru, the pod is 2-3 inches long and changes from a yellow to deep reddish orange color when it ripens. Aji limo is spicy (heat level 8) and is primarily used to prepare ceviche and rice dishes.
AJI PANCA One of the most common types of aji in Peru, aji panca is 3 to 5 inches in length and has a thick flesh that matures from a green to dark red in color. Distinct from the other ajis in its spiciness, aji panca is mild in heat intensity and provides a fruity, berry-like flavor that goes well in stews, sauces and fish dishes.
Suggested uses: Aji can be used for many sauces to flavor chicken, meat, fish, pasta, and rices
Whole sun dried aji pods; Amarillo: 40-50,000 Scoville Units; Limo: 50-60,000 Scoville Units; Panca: 1-1500 Scoville Units
This product has been produced free of gluten, dairy, soy, and genetically engineered ingredients.
Topara Organica (AgroExport Topara SAC), owned by the Bederski family, has made it their mission to cultivate and produce products that represent the rich culinary traditions of Peru while restoring their land and strengthening their local community. The company organically cultivates and processes many indigenous crops, such as maiz morado, lucuma, ajis (chile peppers), huacatay (black mint), yuca and sweet potato.
Topara is a leader in their community and throughout Peru in organic cultivation. To this day they have the only certified organic nursery in the country. They work closely with neighboring farms to train them in organic agriculture. When the company purchases products from neighboring farmers, they oversee all aspects of the cultivation from seedling to harvest. When they purchase from farmers or farmer associations in other regions (such as the highland grains and roots), Topara ensures that all organic certifications are in order and often send workers for cultural and work exchanges.
The Bederski family has made a huge positive impact on there local community, both on a personal level and through their farm. When a devastating earthquake leveled the town of Chincha, the family donated money and supplies, and raised more money internationally, to help rebuild the homes of their workers. They have acted on the community’s behalf over the years in negotiations with the local mine to reduce environmental impact and to improve roads and infrastructure. The company adds a strong voice to local efforts for community development.