I was excited about several of the varieties planned for this past growing season, but the one that really piqued my interest was the Aji Fantasy. I was looking for a pepper that I could simply pull of the plant and start snacking – something flavorful and with a moderate level of heat. The three plants that I harvested from in 2019 did not disappoint.

Aji Fantasy pepper

Each of the plants grew to be fairly good sized, reaching three plus feet in height and nearly as wide, the branches eventually weighing over, heavy with pods varying in size from two inches to almost 4 inches across at their widest point. The ripe peppers were consistent in their bell/lantern shape with smooth pale yellow skin.

Once cut open, the pods are medium walled with a decent bit of placenta and a fairly light number of seeds clustered together. There’s no real sign of any capsaicin or oil as in many of the hotter peppers I’ve grown over the years.

Aji Fantasy pepper

The aroma of the ripened fruit really don’t smell like much of anything to tell you the truth. Maybe there’s a touch of fruit notes and a soft sweetness. But once you get into crunching away at these things they are packed with flavor! But first, let’s chat about that crunch. The Aji Fantasy had the snappiest bite of any variety I grew recently. It was almost like crunching into a honey crisp apple.

The flavor is fruity with no floral traits and super sweet. It almost tastes like candy. The heat level is mild at best, smoldering gently under the sweetness. It lasts maybe five minutes, departing cleanly in the long finish. The seeds provide a touch of bitterness.

Aji Fantasy pepper

All in all, I absolutely loved the Aji Fantasy. I’ve got several pounds of ripe fruit frozen in the basement to last me a good while. I preferred the fruit fresh in salsa or even in salad – or just pulling them off the plant while mowing. The fruit didn’t really fair as well when creating sauces. I felt that a lemony citrus came out when they were processed and cooked. That wasn’t really a trait that I wanted in a couple of sauce batches, but I managed to survive.