Charapita – more expensive than saffron

Its fruits are the size of peas, incredibly hot and among the 3 most expensive spices in the world. We are talking about Aji Charapita, a chili from northern Peru.

Vanilla, saffron and aji charapita – these three spices are the most expensive in the world. At around 20,000 euros per kilogram, the Charapita chili even tops the hit list ahead of saffron and vanilla. The reason for this is its rare occurrence.

Light- and temperature-sensitive chili

The plant grows very slowly, it is sensitive and its berries, which are the size of a pea, must be harvested by hand. Conventional cultivation of the chili, which is native to Peru, is still in its infancy – another reason for the high price.
The plants are very heat-loving and take a long time to mature. After the seeds have germinated, sufficient light must be provided constantly. Charapita does not tolerate dark days well, so in such cases special plant lamps must provide sufficient light.
Then, once the plantlets are outside in the foil tunnel, they barely tolerate a drop in temperature. If all goes well, the chilies can then be harvested in late summer or early fall.