Rocoto New Zealand - organic rocoto chillies from Peru

Carolina Noble, entrepreneur, talks to Multicultural Times’ Katherine Tomaylla about her business and Peruvian traditions.

How did you become an entrepreneur? Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Well I started this chillies adventure like a hobby because I love spicy food. Not extremely spice of course, just spice enough to be able to enjoy my food. But it was very difficult for me to find a good savoury, acidic, fresh explosion of flavours in one chilli sauce bottle. So I start making my own. For years and year I’ve been making it for my family and friends. One day my husband’s - who is a Kiwi - best friend told me to start selling it because it was just the right heat for the Kiwi taste. This is how everything started.

How did you get your idea for Rocoto?

Well I struggled to find any Peruvian chillies in NZ but one day I went to Avondale Market and I found Rocotos from Peru. I was so happy to discover it. So I ask the market people. But couldn’t get any clear answer. Later I found Rocoto plants at Kings Plant Barn in St Lukes, as well as in other places like Nosh, Farro etc.

Tell us about the recipe of your product.

It is 100% handcraft – natural, no preservatives or other nasty stuff to preserve things for longer time. We come for the Amazon jungle. Where we cook mostly with charcoal and food taste much better and more natural. I’ve been making this sauce since last ten years, when I finally found the chillies in NZ. So everything is home-made – 100 organic chillies. Lemons and limes comes from the same supplier who supplies to Farro and other places like Cigale.

Our ingredients are lime, lemon, vinegar, water, garlic, Rocoto chillies, salt and pepper, and some love.

How was your experience in the last Peruvian night market?

It was amazing. People were so curious about this new cuisine. It was our first time selling in this kind of night market as I normally sell my Peruvian food at day time. So it was so cool seeing people supporting us 100 percent. There were Peruvians, Latin-Americans, Pacific Islanders, Maori, Indians, as well as Europeans. Many cultures have descended upon Peru and our cuisine reflects this with Inca, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Italian influences.

Does your company help the community where it is located?

My Company is very small but in the future of course I’ll love to able to help my community. I’ve participated at the St Marist Multicultural Day and donated 60 percent of my earnings to the Catholic Church I belong to. We always try to help others in our Peruvian culture.

What is the commitment of Rocoto in the multicultural culture of New Zealand?

To be able to grow as a Latino company and participate in many multicultural events as we can; and support others Latin people who are unsure to start from scratch like me. I would love to help my Latino community specially Peruvians.

You can find Rocoto New Zealand at