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March 09, 2021 3 min read

If you’re reading this, please be aware that you’ll probably become hungry and feel inspired to drop what you’re doing, order some of our Peruvian Aji Crushed Pepper, and get to cooking.


Now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business.


We’re going to shed some light on our beloved Peruvian Ají Crushed Pepper AKA Ají. 


This is a staple ingredient in my kitchen and for anyone who wants to have more versatility in their spice rack or arsenal. Ají is a very common household ingredient in Argentina and a key ingredient in many of the AXEL Provisions products. Having Ají in my kitchen is as common as having parsley (for Italian and French cooking) or cilantro (for Mexican or Asian cooking). I wanted to add this to our product line from day one—but one step at a time, I guess. I think it’s a great tool/ingredient to consistently use across many dishes. In fact, growing up I had it in a big half gallon container next to the stove/oven so I can pinch and throw fairly easily.


The main obstacle of the beloved Ají is that I could not get it anywhere. I’d have to ask relatives to bring me bags of it when they visited from Argentina. Good old fashion smuggling I’d say. But when it comes to food and cooking greatly, one does what it takes to reach the desired flavor. Luckily for me, instead of joining the international spice cartel, I stuck to the end-users of the highly addictive spice. I’m happy with that choice.


I’m not sure why it isn’t available in the basic aisles of seasonings/spices at grocery stores. I searched and searched, and the closest thing was either generic crushed red pepper, which is completely different because it contains the seeds which provides heat and the flakes are less flavorful, and more plastic-y. The other similar, but not really, ingredient I found….I’ll keep to myself for now. I’m strongly considering launching it as a premium-single ingredient, similarly to Black Garlic Powder. Stay tuned ;)


Ají provides a dimension of deep smoky flavor with easy bits of spice and final hints of sweet. I think it fits very well in the grilling work because of the versatility it provides for dishes, while growing the technique/skill of the cook. I mainly use it when making sauces or rubs, but will freely toss it on any grilled vegetables or pastas. Adding a little extra than you think will give the back of your throat a spicy tickle.


Ah, yes the name. Why not Argentinian Ají Crushed Pepper. Most people know of Ají because of the lovely Peruvian cuisine. Ají is their main ingredient there, however it's mainly found as a mellow yellow flake vs ours is burnt red flake. My idea here is to honor our South American comrades while also not confusing the AXEL Provisions grilling family. Plus, “Argentinian'' didn't fit nicely on the label…so there was also that.


The bottom line here is that if you fall under “Likes to casually cook” or more, this ingredient is a must-have. It will open up your culinary world and ignite the flame for your passion of cooking and grilling. We wanted to be the first American brand to offer this seasoning to you, and I think we’ve done an excellent job so far. If you would like to “join the club”, purchase a jar…or three and get to grilling! You won’t regret it…that’s a guarantee. 


What I use it on:

Grilled vegetables

Fried or scrambled eggs

Potatoes

Fish

Soup

Pork

Axel Brave
Axel Brave

"Oh, so you're like a chef."



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