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ISO fresh aji limo peppers and peruvian limones

  • m

Hi,

I'm looking for a couple of Peruvian ingredients for ceviche. Does anyone know where I can find fresh aji limo peppers or peruvian limones aka peruvian limes aka peruvian lemons? More info here:

http://www.kleph.com/blog.php?v_blog_...

I live in the Los Feliz neighborhood of LA. The closer the better.

Thanks a bunch.

Michael

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  1. Good luck. I'll be watching this post with interest. I have hunted high and low for fresh aji peppers - either amarillo or limo - and failed to find any. Plenty of canned or in bottles, but no fresh so far. As for limes / lemons, I've never seen them here either.

    I suppose you could call Mo Chica and ask them if they know if they are available anywhere. 213-747-2421 http://www.mo-chica.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: estone888

      I e-mailed Ricardo Zarate (chef/owner of Mo-Chica). I haven't heard back from him yet, but he's a busy guy.

      I know he or his lieutenant Ricardo Jr told us that they get a lot of stuff shipped from Peru.

      It may be time for me to stop in for some ceviche...

      -----
      Mo-Chica
      3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

      1. re: msa

        I was there last week. It was fantastic. Barracuda ceviche. I'd never had barracuda before and it is a truly wonderful fish.

    2. They aren't called Peruvian limes around here. They're called Mexican or Key limes (C. aurantifolia) and are available in absolutely every single market in the region. Go for a Latino market such as Vallarta or Northgate. You can often get a three-pound sack from a dollar or two.

      As for ají limo, again, try the stores with a more Caribbean bent (I would have suggested El Cubano Food Bag if it were still open, but that's the sort of thing you want) or the larger Mexican stores. It isn't really chile season, so they may not have any. I treat it like tomatoes: I use fresh when it's good and tinned when fresh is not so good.

      -----
      Vallarta Restaurant
      563 W Ventura St, Fillmore, CA 93015

      6 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Where did you read that key limes are the same as peruvian limones? The page I reference states they are similar but distinct, and that the former may be a substitute. I'm looking for the real thing.

        1. re: msa

          Florida key limes aren't even Florida key limes anymore (they all got wiped out in a storm a 100 years ago or something like that). Soooo maybe what we buy as "key limes" really are what you are looking for.

          1. re: msa

            I yahooed, "Peruvian limones", and got hits - these two seem to confirm your source:

            http://southamericanfood.about.com/b/...
            http://www.kleph.com/blog.php?b=6&amp...

            They do mention that Key Limes (Mexican limes) would be the US substitute. Sounds like the Peruvian/South American variety is different and would be hard to find here. Citrus can be a touch-and-go issue, as there are so many diseases and parasites that can and do affect the mega-billion dollar citrus crops in the US. It's almost like the Chinese saying from back in the 70s, "When Mao sneezes, the whole country catches a cold." The citrus industry truly fears citrus importation not so much for the competition, but for the potential of a vector issue.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              Thank you. I have pretty much resigned myself to using key limes. :)

              I picked up some bearss limes from the Hollywood farmers market this morning. I'll see how tart they are compared to keys.

              Considering their scarcity, I'm now willing to try aji limo in any variety---fresh (first preference), canned, dried, or paste. If anyone has seen any of these somewhere, I would love to hear.

              BTW, I almost thought I found what I was looking for. I found some aji limon plants online. At first, I thought it was just a misnomer and aji limon == aji limo. In fact, some online sources do assert that they're the same. But I'm convinced after further research that they are *not* the same pepper, and I want the limo, not the limon.

              Cheers,

              Michael

              1. re: msa

                I've read that aji limo is used in various incarnations depending on the time of year and the geographic location in Peru. The north obviously has the warmer climate, so they will have fresh far more often. And the further south one goes, the availability of fresh becomes more difficult, so many will use canned/jarred by default.

            2. re: msa

              They may be different cultivars, but they're the same species, C. aurantifolia. When I've talked to Peruvian chefs, they use Mexican limes here; apparently the differences are not so vast that it's worth importing the stuff, since becoming approved to import citrus to California is damn near impossible.

          2. weird. i had never heard of peruvian limes before but saw them at the santa monica sunday farmers market today & just now read this post. don't recall the name of the vender but they had lots of citrus fruit & avocados.

            1. Hello!
              I just purchased Aji Limo, Aji Amarillo and Peruvian Corn from Catalina's Market on Western. They also sell Inca Cola light. I used to have it shipped from Miami, but no more!!!
              I actually made Ceviche tonight and it is the "aji" that really gives it that distinct flavor. Happy Cooking!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Juanersla

                Thank you so much. I will give Catalina's a try.