It all starts with the Pepper…
The Aji Chombo pepper is a type of Scotch Bonnet pepper. Aji Chombo peppers are often confused with Habanero peppers since they look similar and both the Habanero and Scotch Bonnet belong to the same species of chili peppers called (Latin: Capsicum Chinense).
Capsicum refers to the chemical Capsaicin (methyl vanillyl nonenamide), the chemical that produces the burning sensation in the mouth. Chinense is an erroneous reference by the Dutch Botanist who discovered them believing they originated in China. All of the peppers in this genus are from the New World.
The peppers start off green and ripen into a pumpkin orange or scarlet red. Most ScotchBonnets have a heat rating of 100,000-350,000 Scoville Units, the same as their cousin the Habanero. Compare that to most Jalapeno peppers at 2,500-8,000 and Tabasco peppers at 30,000-50,000.
The name Scotch Bonnet comes from the peppers likeness to a Tam o’ Shanter hat, a Scottish style bonnet (cap). Aji Chombo literally means Pepper Black, and is derived from the Antillean who brought the peppers from the Caribbean Islands and started to cultivate them in Panama.
Aji Chombo is a traditional Panamanian Style hot sauce heavily influenced by the Caribbean. The Aji Chombo (Scotch Bonnet) pepper was first used in Panama by the Antilleans who settled there from various Caribbean Islands. The hot sauces they created from these peppers are typically vinegar based and are commonly referred to as Aji Chombo or Chombo Picante. You will find Aji Chombo on most restaurants in Panama, especially those on the Atlantic Coast where the Antillean descendants make up the majority of the population. There are many different variations as each restaurant and individual has their own special recipe.
You can use Aji Chombo on just about anything. Use it to liven up any dish, add it to soup or use it as a marinade. Unlike most Habanero hot sauces, the Aji Chombo hot sauce starts off with a burn that turns into a blast of flavor.
In keeping with tradition our sauce is All Natural! We don’t use Xanthan Gum or Sodium Benzonate, which you will find in a lot of other hot sauces.
We made the label clear to show you what’s in the bottle. We are proud of what’s in our bottle, just look at our ingredients, we don’t water down our sauce!
Xanthum Gum is used to keep sauces from separating…if water is one of their ingredients then you know why they are using Xanthan Gum.
Aji Chombo in a ketchup bottle