Aji Pineapple Peppers – A Productive and Tasty Chili

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If you live in North America, you may have never tasted a pepper from the Capsicum baccatum species. There are countless varieties in the species, so where should you even start?

Well, I think the aji pineapple makes for the perfect introduction to the baccatum species of peppers. The plants are super productive, the peppers are a medium heat level, and have great flavor.

In this article, I’ll share some info on the aji pineapple pepper. We grew just one plant in the garden, but got enough peppers to spice up countless meals and produce a fermented hot sauce!

Aji Pineapple peppers
Aji pineapple peppers.

About the Aji Pineapple

In Spanish, “aji” translates to “chili pepper.” So, saying aji pineapple pepper is somewhat repetitive. In South America, there are countless aji varieties, many of which are from the C. baccatum species.

The aji pineapple gets its name from it’s unique flavor among baccatum types. Many baccatum peppers have a mild, sweet and fruity flavor. However, the aji pineapple has a much more tart, citrusy, and floral taste.

The peppers are typically between 2-3″ long, with a flattened, oblong shape. They ripen from dark green to a bright yellow, and the plants are highly prolific.

Aji Pineapple Scoville (Heat)

When it comes to heat, the aji pineapple is no show stopper. However, this makes the peppers appealing to a much wider audience, and perfect for medium-heat hot sauces.

The aji pineapple rates between 20,000-30,000 SHUs on the Scoville scale. They offer a decent punch, around the same heat level as a serrano pepper.

If you’re looking to grow something with more kick, browse the many pepper varieties that you can grow at home. Even within the baccatum species, there are some hotter ajis, like the sugar rush peppers.

Aji Pineapple Flavor

While the name may be a bit of a stretch, aji pineapples do taste quite good. In my opinion, they do not taste as delicious as fresh pineapple, but the citrusy, bright, fresh flavor is still pleasant.

Pair that with a good amount of kick, and you’ve got a great base for making fermented hot sauce. We used up the last of our aji pineapples this way, making a simple 2% salt fermented mash.

Aji Pineapple peppers in food processor
Aji pineapples preparing for fermentation.

Aji Pineapple Seeds and Plants

Another benefit of growing aji pineapple peppers is the plant’s high productivity. Generally speaking, as the pod size gets smaller, plant productivity gets higher. Since aji pineapples are on the small side, each plant can produce several dozen pods in a single season.

As with most baccatum species plants, the peppers can take a while to fully mature. However, I noticed the aji pineapples matured more quickly than our nearby aji amarillo and aji fantasy peppers.

Compared to some of our other baccatum plants, the aji pineapple plant was much more compact. It remained fairly small, about 1.5 feet tall and 2 feet wide. In contrast, our aji fantasy plant grew over 3 feet tall and wide, sprawling across the garden in all directions.

More baccatum peppers:

Overall, I would recommend growing the aji pineapple if you want to try something new. These peppers work so well in a variety of dishes, and are excellent for making homemade hot sauce.

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One of the original Pepper Geeks! When Calvin isn’t gardening or learning more about peppers and botany, he might be traveling new places or playing some music.

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  1. I received 3 aji pineapple plants this past Spring from a restaurant owner friend of mine. While I know this pepper is absolutely the aji pineapple, my plants grew 3′ tall amd 4′ in diameter. Also, my peppers are 2x the heat of any serrano I’ve ever eaten. Perhaps it’s my soil, climate, etc.. I live in central N. Carolina and have a 3000 sf fenced garden where my wife (she has the green thumb) and I grow a year’s worth of produce for us every year.

    1. Amazing! Caring for the soil makes a massive difference in the outcome. Glad to hear you had success with these plants, and it’s inspiring to hear that you and your wife grow basically all of your own food.

  2. Is whitehotpeppers.com the only source you have for these seeds? I hate to spend more on the shipping, than the seeds. I would like to find a vendor where I can get numerous varieties and “spread” the shipping. Also, what Habanero variety do you prefer? Thank you in advance.

  3. I grow several different hot peppers. Habanero is almost more than I can handle. I grow them for pleasure, dry and crush some into very small pieces for cooking. The rest I give away. I live in northwest WY, zone 5….we have had May 13 frost, 28 to 30 deg… so peppers are a challenge. I am going to go for the thermostat controlled heat pad. I dont think my “cheapie” pad may not put out enough heat. Looking forward to try your AJI peppers. I have gardened for years, I am 85 yrs old and my garden is my “entertainment.”

  4. This looks so similar to the lemon drop, is it similar in taste? Because I hated the lemon drop. I found it tasted like potpourri or something. It’s one of the few I’m not going to grow again this year. I just want to make sure the aji pineapple isn’t similar so I’m not disappointed.

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