Peppers – Ajíes – Chiles
Ranging from sweet to very hot, peppers are an essential part of Latin American cuisine.
Native to Mexico, the pepper has spread widely all over the world. Think what Chinese and Indian cuisine would be like without them.
Growing up we didn’t have bell peppers. We used what are now called Cubanelle and gustosos (tiny little peppers with a great taste). We only saw bell peppers in the form of Spanish pimentos.
I don’t remember many Dominicans eating hot foods when I was little, except my mother. But, her best friend was Mexican so, I figured that’s where she learned that.My mother always had a bottle of Tabasco around. The only hot sauce you could get in those days.
There was always a little plant of Ají Caribe in our yard. I have since learned that is the same as the Grove Peppers from Florida.
We bottled them in vinegar or sherry to make hot sauce used on beef, pork, Mofongo (a plantain dish), goat, pork, etc.