This is one of my favorite chilies and according to the book, ‘The Complete Chili Pepper Book’, the species pubesens was first described in 1790 from plants cultivated in Peru.
This species of capsicum originated in the highlands of Bolivia and was domesticated some 6000 years ago, making it one of the oldest domesticated plants in the Americas.
And they taste great. These fleshy, fruity little orbs are hot (30K-50K SHUs) but not too hot as to overwhelm the palate.
My go-to chilies are the habanero (200K-300K SHUs), the serrano (20K SHUs) and the pubesens.
Like the habanero, the pubesens comes in green, yellow, and red. The yellow is called the canario (as in the yellow bird) while the red variety is called the manzano (as in apple).
There are lots and lots of other chilies out there; dozens and dozens of which are sold both dry and fresh in my local mercado but these three are my favorite fresh chilies.
I like the habaneros for their apricot fruity flavor. Yes, it’s true. The apricot flavor is most definitely there, it’s just coyly hiding behind all that heat.
And I like the serranos for their fresh hot crunchiness. Their flavor melds well with cilantro and lime.
This particular chili I like for their hot fruity fleshiness. And they also have a surprisingly different heat profile than the other ones. Looks count too. Their bright yellow color also does wonders to spark up even the plainest of dishes. Take a bowl of beans. Squeeze in some lime juice, dice up one of these fat chilies, add some sliced onion and some white stinky farmer’s cheese and you’ve got yourself one fine healthy meal which cost a mere 10-15 pesos or less than 80 cents.
PS – For lunch today I sauteed an onion with a small eggplant (love those flavors together). I scooped part of that pan over some new baby potatoes. Sliced up an avocado then dumped a couple of fried eggs on top along with one of those big fat yellow chilies.
Awesome flavor combination: Fried eggs, avocado, caramelized onions and eggplant, with potatoes all heated up with some great chili flavor. Not just great flavor but also another example of one wonderful and incredibly healthy and nutritious [sub] one dollar meal.