Hot Lemon, also known as Aji límon or lemon drop pepper is a Peruvian hot pepper which has survived from pre-Columbian times till nowadays. The pepper is are extremely frost-tolerant, so it is easy to extend their growing season well beyond that of other peppers. This is one reason why they have become extremely popular in England, where cool nights can stunt the growth of many peppers.
Its distinctive citrus flavor and the bright yellow color of the ripe pods immediately bring to mind the crisp aromas of lemons and limes. A strong hint of citron (the less acidic cousin of lemons and limes) counterbalances the intense spiciness for which this pepper is well-known. The heat, ranging 5,000 to 10,000 SHU on the Scoville Heat Unit scale, together with its fruitiness and floral quality contribute to the complexity of flavors achieved when the pepper is used in salsas.
The plants are low bushes, no more than 18 inches tall, and once they begin to produce peppers, their branches tend to droop in an attractive manner. Best of all, it’s a heavy producer, one plant may yield up to 40 pods. Once the pods begin to ripen, they change from light green to a brilliant waxy yellow and they grow to about 3 inches long.
This chili variety is ideal for spicy salsas, hot sauces, and dishes based on chicken or fish. In Peru, it is often used as a seasoning for various main meals and snacks. It is rich in vitamins C and A, which are antioxidants that can help build collagen and improve skin complexion.