The Brazilian Starfish Pepper comes from a long line of economically friendly peppers. A member of the Nightshade family, it is both popular and rare.
At a range of 30000 to 50000 SHU the Brazilian Starfish has a heat worth bragging about. It puts Jalapenos to shame.
The Brazilian Starfish Pepper is named for its resemblance to the sea star. It is short, just 3/4 of an inch tall, and boasts the trademark red hue of most chilli peppers. A unique thing about these peppers is that they are wider than they are long. Their one and 3/4 inch width spreads out like the arms of a starfish.
Taste and Smell
Many words have been used to describe the taste of the Brazilian Starfish Pepper. One of them is pungent. Most people refer to the intense heat they get when their teeth pierce one of the pepper’s membranes. Others relish in sweetness of its flesh. The taste has been likened to bell peppers.
The scent reminds most of wild berries.
The Brazilian Starfish Pepper is a capsicum baccatum species. It has its roots in Ancient Peru but has since become domesticated in Brazil. Sometimes it is called the Aji Brazilian Starfish; Aji means chilli in many Caribbean dialects.
This is where the economics of Nightshade plants come in. The Brazilian Starfish, like its many family members, has many uses.
Food, of course, is a big one. It can be used to add a fruity taste to chilis and salsas, or it can amplify the heat. In Peruvian cuisine it adorns even fish dishes. In Columbia and Ecuador it is made into a condiment.
The unique shape of the pepper and the beauty of the plant it grows on are used as decoration. They are grown indoors year round more for their cream colored flowers and green corolla than for their crop.
The Moche culture draws them into their artwork, along with their close cousin, the Aji Amarillo Peppers.
The Brazilian Starfish Pepper plant is low maintenance. It can be kept all year and harvested by hand as soon as the peppers are ripe. It takes no extra work. Simply pluck a pepper from the branch like you would an apple in an orchard.
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