You should never judge a pepper by its size, especially when it comes to price. The Aji Charapita chili pepper grows is roughly the size of a pea, but there’s nothing small about its price. A kilogram of this stuff will set you back a whopping $35,000.
Native to the jungles of norther Peru, the Aji Charapita is known as a wild pepper, and has only recently recently being cultivated for commercial use. Used fresh, this tiny pepper is said to have a strong fruity flavor that gives salsas and sauces a tropical taste, but it is mostly used in powdered form to a bit of spiciness to various dishes. Although still fairly unknown in most Western countries, the Aji Charapita is a highly sought-after treat among chili pepper connoisseurs and five-star restaurant chefs.
Getting your hands on a few Aji Charapita peppers is a daunting task, for two very simple reasons. First of all, it is very difficult to source outside of Peru, unless you’re willing to buy some seeds online and plant them yourself, and even if you manage to find a seller, the price is probably going to curb your enthusiasm. Nicknamed “the mother of all chilli” Aji Charapita reportedly costs a minimum of $25,000 per kilo, making it the most expensive chili pepper in the world, and one of the most expensive spices, along with vanilla and saffron.
With a Scolville hotness rating of between 30,000 – 50,000 heat units, the Aji Charapita will burn a hole through your tongue as well as your wallet. This rating makes it about as hot as a cayenne pepper and four to twenty times hotter than the jalapeño.