This was the first season I grew Aji Lemon (aka, Lemondrop) peppers. I purchased the seeds from the local Home Depot and didn’t expect much, especially when my Tequila Sunrise plant turned out to be your run-of-the-mill green bell pepper. And yet, this Aji Lemon plant was the tallest of lot this season, producing over 40 fruit for me to harvest — easily the most prolific of my plants for 2017.

Aji Lemon Pepper photo

Most of the pods that I collected throughout the Summer and into Autumn weren’t overly large — maybe two inches at the longest — and looked very much like the example above. Their vibrant yellow color certainly stood out from all of the red varieties that I grew this year. This particular pepper has a slightly wrinkled flesh and felt fairly dense which was confirmed once I cut it open.

The pod, much like the others I picked, was packed with seeds and had a thin placenta running its length. The aroma on these little pods is enticing with wafts of light citrus, grass and a hint of peppery heat. The smell reminds me of lemongrass more than any sort of citrus fruit. I do enjoy the earthy trait the aroma carries.

Aji Lemon Pepper photo

This pod had crunchy flesh and was juicy with a strong lemony character. There is a distinct earthy and grassy trait that I particularly enjoyed. The seeds didn’t affect the flavor too much, but with the sheer abundance with each bite, they did tend to get in the way of the overall light and refreshing flavor.

The heat on this pod arrives almost instantly with a full tongue burn and light scorch on the roof of the mouth. At roughly 15,000 – 30,000 SHU, the pepper isn’t wildly flaming, but it does have a nice, approachable heat. It’s not too crazy, but still packs an enjoyable burn with a gentle trail of whiskey chest in its wake.

I’ve enjoyed many of these peppers this season with most going into a very simple sauce that my wife has also enjoyed (she’s not huge on too much heat). I’ve currently got an Aji Lemon in my office growing with a makeshift hydroponic set up. The fruit on that plant are easily twice as big and just starting to ripen so you can expect a comparison review hopefully sometime in the near future.