Color Me Confused

Day 167 – January 5, 2012

In the 1992 film, El Marachi, directed and written by Robert Rodriguez, there is a wonderful bit of dialogue when the title character is told about an assassin named Azul (which means “blue” in Spanish). When told that this killer only wears black, El Marachi (played by Carlos Gallarado) asks, “If his name is Azul, why doesn’t he wear blue?”

I only bring this cinematic chromatic confusion up because I have recently had a similar discoloration of my perceptions.

We asked our empleada today to make aji de gallina, a quintessential Peruvian dish that is chicken in a creamy, spicy yellow pepper sauce.

As she was preparing the meal, she explained to me that the main pepper used was the aji verde.

Now, verde in Spanish means green in English, yet the pepper she was working with looked like this…

Aji verde

Color is correct. No need to adjust your monitor.

You will notice that these little yummies are in fact not green, but orange.

When I asked Ethel why this food item was not called aji naranja (naranja = orange), she simply shrugged and most likely said something to the effect of “That’s the way it is.”

As a member of the English-speaking world, I certainly can’t claim our language as logical when it comes to food. For example, this object below…


Image courtesy of World Health Medicine

…contains no egg.

I’ve checked.


About sinpolaris

sinpolaris is the psuedonym of a guy who likes to write.

Posted on January 5, 2012, in Peru, Similar and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Well, they start off green, apparently, and ripen to orange. Not that any of that helps the name make much more sense.

    The eggplant info is useful. Explains why my cookies didn’t come out so well last night when I realized we were out of eggs and I pureed one of those purple things instead in their place…

  2. Thanks for the comment. I certainly hope you remembered to put the lid on the blender before pureeing an eggplant or it would have looked like Prince threw up in your kitchen (Booyah! A reference to a 1980s musician! Double Word Score!)

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