May 13, 2021

The Rocoto is a native of Peru and dates from pre-Inca times, its cultivation dates back some 5,000 years ago. Its original Quechua name is luqutu or rukutu. Its presence is documented by the ancient Peruvians of the Paracas, Nazca, Mochica, and Chimú cultures through textiles, ceramics, and domestic remains. The Rocoto is the flagship chili of Peru, it is consumed fresh, in paste, dry, and/or ground.

It is a spicy fruit, but the intensity can be controlled by extracting the veins where the seeds are found since they are the ones that contain the highest amount of spiciness in this vegetable. In the southern part of Peru, they are usually removed and later eaten stuffed with meat.

In addition to being a gastronomic gem among lovers of tasty foods, this aji has analgesic and anticancer properties. This is due to capsaicin, the same substance that causes irritation on the palate. According to a study conducted by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, individuals who consumed spicy at least twice a week had a mortality rate 10% lower than those who did not.

Besides, these types of foods are attributed to healing properties, since they also relieve joint ailments applied topically. Moderate consumption of hot pepper helps to improve circulation and prevent cardiovascular problems, while, due to its fiber content, it regulates intestinal transit and combats constipation.

Know some uses that you can give to Rocoto

As food

Due to its spicy flavor, it is used in the preparation of salads, pickles, hot sauces, and the preparation of stews such as stuffed hot pepper, a typical dish of the department of Arequipa, cebiches, tiraditos, and cheese chaupi.

As medicine

The chili pepper (including the hot pepper), in addition to being tasty, brings interesting benefits to its consumers.

Hot pepper has an amount of vitamin C four times higher than that of orange and, like other fruits, its antioxidant properties are an essential part of a healthy diet recommended to prevent cancer, it also contains phosphorus, fiber, calcium, iron, carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, among others.

When ingested, more salivation is generated and all the taste buds are activated at the same time and it has a bactericidal effect, thus helping to eliminate bacteria from the stomach. It promotes the accumulation of lipids and bicarbonate and forms a protective barrier for the stomach lining.

The main component of chili pepper is capsaicin, which protects DNA from carcinogens and reduces the possibility of prostate cancer. Studies indicate that the hot pepper would prevent the multiplication of cancer cells.

Chili is also a low-calorie source (100 g of hot peppers are 23 calories). Also, capsaicin helps prevent fat from accumulating in the body and inhibits the proliferation of fat cells.

The chili pepper also has an analgesic capacity, since it inactivates the sensory neurons that transmit pain. It stimulates the nervous system, more endorphins are produced (opiate compounds associated with satisfaction and well-being). It helps to secrete insulin, which serves to complement treatments that diabetics follow.

The hot pepper is an excellent stomach protector, it is recommended for the treatment of ulcers, gastritis, colitis. In general, it benefits the digestive system since the capsaicin in hot peppers stimulates the secretion of gastric juices and promotes the accumulation of lipids and bicarbonates in the stomach lining, strengthening it and facilitating the digestive process.

It has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. The sensation of controlled pain produced by the hot pepper on the tongue is the same as that we feel when we practice sports, in response our body produces endorphins that inhibit certain parts of the brain producing a sensation of pleasure that generates a certain addiction difficult to describe.

It is useful to combat diabetic neuropathy, administered as topical capsaicin relieves pain associated with psoriasis and osteoarthritis. It is good for hypertension because it acts as a dilator of blood vessels, it is recommended to relieve discomfort and lower the pressure of people who suffer from this disease.

Types of Rocoto

  •        Rocoto de Monte. Also called de la huerta. It grows in the mountains and has a shape similar to that of the pepper. It is medium in size and quite spicy.
  •        Rocoto serrano. It is the hot pepper that grows in the central jungle. Larger and meatier, it has a delicious flavor but is quite hot.

Recipe to prepare Rocoto Relleno

Ingredients

  • 10 Rocoto
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons of aji panca paste
  • ½ kg. loin chopped into very finite squares (or ground beef)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 kg red onions, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of maní, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 5 black olives, chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons black raisins
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

  •        To reduce the itchiness of the Rocoto: cut a small cap on the top of the Rocoto and using a spoon remove the seeds and veins from the inside. Be very careful. I recommend that you wear gloves to protect your hands and wash well when you are done. Do not touch your eyes or face in any way.
  •        Put the Rocoto in a pot with water to cover them, a tablespoon of water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, drain the water and add fresh water. Repeat this operation three times. Drain and cool the Rocoto. Reservation.
  •        Meanwhile, in a pot over high heat, heat the oil, fry the aji panca, add the meat and the bay leaf. Stir occasionally until the meat changes color.
  •        Stir in the onion, ¼ teaspoon of the sugar, salt, and pepper.
  •        Add the peanuts, oregano, olives, hard-boiled eggs, parsley, raisins, salt, and pepper to taste.
  •        Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
  •        Fill the Rocoto with this mixture. Arrange the stuffed peppers in a rectangular or square dish.
  •        In a bowl beat an egg with a can of evaporated milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over the rocks.
  •        Separately beat two eggs until they are very thick. Place a tablespoon on each Rocoto and put the reserved cap on top of each one.
  •        Bake for 15 minutes.

And ready! Now you can enjoy the best benefits of the Rocoto with this great recipe.