The chilli peppers are, of course, an indispensable ingredient in Mexican cooking.
Since Pre-Hispanic times the chilli peppers have been cultivated and consumed by the indigenous people of Mexico, Central and South America.
In modern times the chilli pepper’s nutritive and medicinal value has been tested and verified.
The chilli pepper is a fruit that is celebrated for its spicy, hot flavor.
There are hundreds of varieties of shape, size and color.
Their taste ranges from sweet and mild to hot, which is a manner of describing the effect on the human palate.
Its ultimate flavor can be influenced by the way it is pickled, dry roasted, ground up or frozen.
This is by far the most popular and flavorful chilli throughout the world.
Its origin is the somewhere in the Veracruz region of Mexico.
It is characterized as one that preserves its spiciness whether it is pickled or frozen, and regardless of its color.
It is commonly consumed as a green pepper, either raw or cooked – as hot sauce when combined with tomato, for example.
In its dry form it converts into the Chipotle Chile, which is very hot, with a somewhat sweet and smoky flavor.
Its physical characteristics: It has a long and conical shape that is tapered and round at one end, it has a dark green color that becomes red when matured; its texture has a hardness and glow that is aromatic;
It’s hot and spicy flavor comes mostly from the interior seeds and veins, which can be removed to lessen the effect.
Serrano or Green Pepper: the name, Serrano, gives notice to its origin in the mountainous regions.
It is mostly used green and raw and is chopped and diced into the making of various sauces and guacamole recipe.
It is rarely used dry or ground up. Not usually roasted and peeled; rather, used fresh in relishes sauces, or garnishes. It is cooked as a preparation for green Mexican salsa recipes or can be added whole to accompany rice.
Characteristics: The Serrano pepper is smaller than jalapenos, quite hot, though with a somewhat less harsh bite. It is of conic shape, very dark green and with a full-bodied, spicy flavor.
One variety of pepper similar to the Chilaca pepper is the Anaheim pepper, which is commonly found in the Southwestern part of the U.S. It is a dark green almost to the point of blackness when fresh.
This pepper is preferred fresh, can be roasted and peeled and used in recipes or stuffed to make chile Rellenos just as the Poblano Pepper.
The Chilaca pepper and similar varieties are moderately hot.
When it matures it becomes black and is known as Chile Pasilla. In the North part of Mexico it is a popular favorite as part of the delicious Chile con Queso recipe.
This is the name for the matured and smoked jalapeno peppers and is also known as chilli ahumado.
It has an intense red color that comes from the process of a special kind of drying and results in a somewhat sweet, smoky and spicy taste.
They measure approximately 2 to 4 inches in length and about an inch wide It is considered a “medium” heat in comparison to other chillies.
It is primarily used as a condiment in the preparation of stews, soups, and sauces.
Canned chipotle peppers are widely available.
This pepper is preferably used when dry.
It is used in the making of stew, hot sauces and marinades.
Usually they accompany other peppers for the preparation.
It has a triangular elongated form, a smooth texture, and its color is brownish red.
It is roughly 4 inches long and 1.2 inches in its widest part.
There are 3 varieties:
- Guajillo wide: It’s not hot.
- Guajillo medium: Mildly hot.
- Guajillo small also known as Guajillo Puya: It’s very hot.
The fresh Chilaca Pepper when gets dry transforms itself into the Pasilla Pepper.
The name comes from its raisin like appearance, its dark red almost black color and spicy flavor.
It is roughly 7 inches long and 1 inches wide.
This is the name given to the Poblano pepper when it fully matures.
It is among the most used and versatile condiments in Mexican cooking, and a touch of redness to the various stews and casseroles.
It has a large triangular shape and a biting, somewhat pungent taste.
Moderately mild to medium-hot.
It’s roughly 4.7 inches long and 2.7 inches in its widest part.
This pepper is outside very similar to the Ancho Pepper but it has a very different flavor.
It is only used dry and is especially suited to the preparation of moles, such as Mole Poblano. It is also used with Enchiladas Recipe.
It’s mildly hot. It has a biting, chocolate flavor that is unique among peppers.
It has a dark wine color.
Small, very hot bell-shaped chile that is used to flavor sauces or for a colorful garnish.
This pepper has a clear green color and becomes yellow to orange as it matures.
It is considered the hottest of all hot peppers.
Be sure to disinfect dry peppers for no more than 5 minutes, as it can lose its aroma and consistency.
CAUTION! When handling hot chilli peppers, wear rubber gloves or generously oil your hands. Contact with the pepper oils will irritate the skin. Avoid rubbing your eyes because the oils will cause them to burn painfully.
To peel a green chilli pepper it must be slow roasted in a comal –metal hotplate for cooking, griddle, or directly on the low flames of a gas oven. It is allowed to steam in a plastic bag and then peeled and opened to remove the interior seeds.
FREEZING: Always freeze peppers with charred skins intact, double-wrapped in freezer proof plastic bags
Chilli Peppers are a natural stimulant.
The chilli peppers have excellent nutritional properties. For example, the Jalapeno Pepper is rich in Vitamin A, C, and Potassium, it also contains iron and magnesium.
In addition to this, chilli peppers help to stimulate and maintain the metabolic rhythm of the body.
It is good for the digestion, producing a higher level of gastric juices while reducing cholesterol.
As a natural anticoagulant they help reduce the possibility of a heart attack.
As an antioxidant they are said to rejuvenate the body and delay the aging process.