Piment Panca / Peru
Aji is the South American Spanish word for chile. Aji Panca are wonderfully complex, with an earthy smokiness, a bit of heat, and an intense, almost berry-like sweetness. In Peru, it is used in seafood and rice dishes, in soups, and in sauces. Its fruitiness complements and balances tart ingredients, which makes it a very versatile pantry ingredient. Try it in tomato or tomatillo-based sauces and soups, with any kind of citrus, particularly in dressings and marinades. Like many chiles, it combines very well with chocolate.