Ají Dulce (Seasoning Pepper)
Sweet, smoky seasoning pepper especially popular in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. This is a mild habanero without the heat. Ají is an important ingredient in Puerto Rican sofrito (sauce), but is also eaten in salsas, salads, and roasted. For a sharper flavor, use the green fruits, and for softer flavors, use them when ripened red.
Search terms: Aji Dulce, Ajicito, Aji Gustoso, Cachucha, Sweet Pepper, Seasoning Pepper
Days to maturity: 90-110
Seeds per pack: 25
Germination rate: 77% on 12/30/2020
Planting / harvesting notes
Start seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost and transplant into garden well after the danger of frost. Keep seedlings moist but do not overwater. Transplants should be initially watered in well, and plants will be most productive with regular irrigation and full sun. These abundant plants may have to be staked.
Seed keeping notes
Peppers are generally self-pollinating, though we isolate different varieties of the same species by at least 50 feet, in hopes that flying insects will not cross pollinate them unexpectedly. There are several important species of peppers, so check your scientific names! Pepper seeds are ripe when the fruits have turned their final fiery color - in this case, fiery-orange. Cut the fruit, scrape out seeds, and lay them out to dry on a labeled screen or paper product in a ventilated place away from direct sunlight for a week or two. Consider wearing gloves for your protection! Drying the peppers before seed extraction can slightly lower your germination rates, but works fine for home seed saving as long as the peppers do not rot.