This wild chili pepper species was thought to be extinct for over 50 years until it was rediscovered in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest.
The market price of a kilo of dried Aji Charapita was around €20,000 until Charapita Farms started successfully growing commercially in the USA. But this makes it almost twice as pricey as saffron. So why does it cost so much? Well, the main reason is the rarity of these chilies. It is incredibly difficult to grow Aji Charapita chilies and it is almost impossible to buy fresh Chilis outside of Peru. In Europe especially they are almost unheard of, with only a handful of growers going to the trouble. Aside from this, as each chili needs to be picked by hand, harvesting and processing alone is incredibly time consuming. And if picking individual chilies wasn’t hard enough, the farmers need to be sure to pluck not only the chili but the stalk too to avoid it drying out the moment it’s picked.
One of the only places you can buy fresh Aji Charapitas outside of Peru is at Charapita Farms direct (www.charapitafarms.com)
As a final factor, Aji Charapitas, with its unique tropical taste, have also become a favorite of leading chefs and gourmets all over the world of late - boosting their popularity and spiking demand.