Mexican Chiles – From Mild to Fiery!!


Some people know them as “chile” others use the word “chili”, both of them are fine but we as Mexicans commonly use the word chile. It is interesting that when people talks about Mexican Food, the first thing that come to mind is chile, hot, spicy, and I’m sorry to tell but it’s true. Like in the case of tortillas, chiles are fundamental ingredient of Mexican Cuisine.  Having over 60 different styles (some mild, some hot, others fiery or lethal), it is logical to conclude why Mexicans use them for almost every meal, and beleive it or not, what makes a chile very hot is not the body or skin (red, yellow or green), but the seeds! That’s why we always suggest removing the seeds from the chiles. But why don’t we take a closer look to “some” of the most famous chiles in Mexico.

Chile de Arbol

They are one of the favorite chiles for Mexicans because of their bold and subtle natural smoky flavor. They are a favorite ingredient in salsas, but are also added to soups and foods as the perfect complement. Chile de arbol have an intense heat that is slightly less than that of the cayenne peppers and for that reason we love them.


Chile Habanero

Originally from the Yucatan Peninsula, but disseminated to the world by Europeans, this chiles get their name from the Cuban city of La Habana, which is known as Havana in English. Although they are not from Cuba, the chile habanero was frequently traded there. While Mexico is the largest consumer of this spicy ingredient, particularly in hot sauces and spicy foods, it’s flavor and floral aroma have become increasingly popular around the world.


Chile Poblano (ancho)

Originally from the state of Puebla, chile pobalno is one of the most popular chiles grown in Mexico. Chile poblano is multi-stemmed, and can reach 25 inches in height. The pod itself is about 3 to 6 inches long and about 2 to 3 inches wide. Chile poblano is mild, heart-shapped and have very thick walls, which make them great for stuffing. Chiles rellenos are often made with them, but also they are the main ingredient for chiles en nogada.


Chile Serrano

People say that this type of chile was originally from the north sierra (mountains) between Puebla and Hidalgo were originally was cultivated. Because you don’t have to char or core this thin-skinned chile (just cut it into tiny slices and mince it) it’s the fastest one to use for salsas. The flavor is bright and bitting, with a delayed fuse.


Chile Jalapeño

The chile gets its name due to the Mexican city of Xalapa, Veracruz that is the production center of this chiles. It is considered a very hot and fiery chile with a distinctive flavor. This chile is used in both cooked and raw salsas and prevails across many different lines of Mexican cooking.


Chile Manzano

Also known as “peron” or “ciruelo”, is originally from Zitacuaro, Michoacan and the north areas of the Estado de Mexico. It’s part of the group of the capsicum pubescens, characterized mainly for its rough, black seeds and fuzzy leaves. It is mostly cultivated in high and cold elevated zones. This chile is very hot and it’s mostly stuffed or used in salsas.


Chile Pasilla

It is called “the little raising” of chiles due to the black color and wrinkle skin. People often substitute chile ancho for pasilla. It is called pasilla when the chile is fresh, but when the chile is dried its called “chile negro”. Normally people use this chile to make salsas or is included in stews.


Chile Guajillo

These chiles are thick, tough skin, dark reddish, and they can be mild to moderate in heat. These chiles need more time to soak due to its thick skin, and are used in various meals no matter in which type of cuisine, region and cooking style.


Posted by Magdiel

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