The Pepper

The Aji Chombo pepper is a type of Scotch Bonnet pepper.  Aji Chombo peppers are often confused with Habanero peppers since they look similar and both the Habanero and Scotch Bonnet belong to the same species of chili peppers called (Latin: Capsicum Chinense).

Capsicum refers to the chemical  Capsaicin (methyl vanillyl nonenamide), the chemical that produces the burning sensation in the mouth.   Chinense is an erroneous reference by the Dutch Botanist who discovered them believing they originated in China.  All of the peppers in this genus are from the New World.

The peppers start off green and ripen into a pumpkin orange or scarlet red.  Most ScotchBonnets have a heat rating of 100,000-350,000 Scoville Units, the same as their cousin the Habanero.  Compare that to most Jalapeno peppers at 2,500-8,000 and Tabasco peppers at 30,000-50,000.

The name Scotch Bonnet comes from the peppers likeness to a Tam o’ Shanter hat, a Scottish style bonnet (cap).  Aji Chombo literally means Pepper Black, and is derived from the Antillean who brought the peppers from the Caribbean Islands and started to cultivate them in Panama.