Dried Chillies Are Not Hot
When we think about Mexican food we often think about it being hot. This is a common misconception because let’s face it, we do love spicy food, however, even when a lot of dried chillies keep their heat, there are a lot of chillies that offer a more complex layer of flavour and aromas to our dishes. Some of them have notes of chocolate, others of tobacco, one can even sense sweetness of berries, vanilla and raisins. There is a wide variety of chillies, a fantastic mix of colours, sizes and shapes.
Some of the most popular dried chillies in Mexico are: Ancho, De Arbol, Serrano, Habanero, Jalapeno, Morita, Poblano, Manzano, Cayenne, Guajillo, Chipotle, Pasilla, Guero, Mulato, Pikin, Rasilla, Cascabel Chilaca, De Agua and so many more. Chipotle Meco, Chipotle Morita and Pasilla of Oaxaca are usually smoked in ovens. Some others, such as the Chilhuacle chilli pepper are set to dry laid on the ground to the sun and turned by hand every two to three hours. This artisan way of drying this particular chilli results in a shortage of it. It elevates the cost of producing it and makes it a very rare product.
Dried Chillies are beloved around the world for their ability to blend into nearly any cuisine. Now is your time to try different chillies and change your perceptions! Have a look at this amazing list of chillies, they are all different, we are sure you can find one that is exactly what your dish needs.
Chipotles chillies have a rich smoky flavour. They are, in fact, jalapeño chillies that are left to ripen until they are a dark red colour and then they are smoke dried. They are mainly grown in Chihuahua in the north of Mexico and their name comes from the Nahuatl Word Chilpoctli, meaning smoked chilli. With Chipotle Chillies you can make pastes, marinades and smoky salsas to go with or accompany your dishes.
De Arbol Chilli
This thin, bright red chilli with a bright green stalk is thought to have derived from the cayenne pepper. Don’t be fooled by its size, this little chilli is pretty feisty. Chillie de Arbol is used in hot sauces preparation, salsas, soups, tacos and chilli.
Also known as Mirasol chilli, once dried are called Guajillo chilli and is one of the most widely used chillies in Mexican cooking. This dark red brown, spicy and tanginess offers also sweetness of berries and the roundness of tomato. Many say it even has hints of green tea. Use it to make Meat Rubs, Soups, Salsas, and Moles.
The Mulato Chilli is a dried Poblano Chilli that has a dark brown or black colour. It has a mix of chocolate and liquorice flavour with a warm, mild heat. Mulato chillies are used in many mole recipes as well as stews and other sauces.
Another type of dried Poblano Chilli that has a sweeter, fruitier flavour than the Mulato chilli. The skin of the chilli, -translated as wide chilli- is mild while the flesh is hot and spicy. Ancho Chilli is great for meat marinades and rubs. It is also part of the Holy Trinity of chillies used to make mole (along with the Mulato and Pasilla chillies).
Pasilla means little raisin and is a long dried chilli Chilaca. The Pasilla offers a mild to medium heat and fruity, berry flavours with a touch of cocoa. Pasilla chillies are often combined with fruit to make sweet, spicy sauces for meat and seafood.
The Casabel or ‘rattle chilli’ is so named because the seeds inside rattle when you shake it. It is unusual that it has the same name whether fresh or dried. The Cascabel is a dark red or brown colour when dried and offers a smoky, nutty taste with undertones of tobacco. Cascabel chillies are great in stews, enchiladas, tacos and fajitas.
Habanero chillies are hot hot hot! In fact, they are one of the hottest chillies in the world. However, their heat strikes quickly and dissipates quickly. The habanero chilli has a tangy, citrusy and fruity flavour. Ideally used for hot sauces.
Mexican gastronomy does not exist without the presence of the chilli, there is a saying that: ‘chilli is like the perfume, you have to perceive it but not dominate it, it has to be thin, but be seen, chillies have to touch the senses of the food and create the harmony. This is another reason to mention ‘Dried chillies are not hot’.
As Mexican food importer, we are always searching for the best chillies from Mexico. We go to the sources, mountains and valleys, north to south in search for the best quality ingredients to bring to the UK.