There’s not a whole lot of information out there for the Criolla Sella, but from what little I’ve found, its roots are in South America. Beyond that, it’s similar in size and flavor to the Aji Lemon (Lemondrop). That said, and having grown the Lemondrop for a couple of years, I can attest to the visual similarities, but the flavors are quite different — at least to my tastebuds.

Criolla Sella pepper plant

Let’s start with the plant before we dive into this tasty little pepper. As you can see above, the Criolla Sella is prolific. This plant is maybe a foot or so tall and almost twice that in diameter, yet it is packed with unripened fruit. I lost count after thirty. Structurally speaking, it’s more dense than the Aji Lemon that I have grown in the past and not quite as tall as my current plant.

The fruit also look similar though the Criolla Sella have a bit more of a point and a just a tad larger than the Aji Lemon fruit I have harvested in the past. This particular specimen was just over two inches in length and maybe a quarter inch wide with smooth, yellowish orange skin.

Criolla Sella pepper plant

The interior displays a thin placenta that stretches the entire length of the fruit with a plethora of seeds filling in what little space is left. Thankfully, those seeds don’t produce too much of a bitterness that could have affected the flavor.

While the Aji Lemon tastes decidedly lemony, the Criolla Sella has more of an orange peel like character with just a hint of lemony citrus. Perhaps I had picked this particular fruit a day or two early, but the flavor was rather subdued. There is also a nice couch to the pepper as well as an overall juiciness that carries the flavors and mild heat across the tongue.

Criolla Sella pepper plant

As for the heat, well… This pod was rather tame. Again, this could be due to the picking the fruit prematurely. It could also be due to the particular seed stock I purchased or the amount of rain we’ve had thus far this season. Only time – and further sampling of fruit – will tell if the heat level is where it should be or was an anomaly with this singular pepper. The warm glow peaked after a minute or so before fading slowly over the next ten. It wasn’t overly stinging or biting – pretty mellow overall.

That all said, I still quite enjoyed the Criolla Sella. It’s got a decent flavor, is fairly tame and grows like a weed. I’m looking forward to harvesting a few handfuls of fruit so that I can craft some milder sauces for the wife. I do believe she would enjoy this one a good deal.