Ancho (AHN-cho) - Dried
Poblano. Heat: 3-5. The Ancho is the sweetest of the
dried chilies. It has a mild fruity flavor with tones of
coffee, liquorice, tobacco, dried plum, and raisin, and a little
woody. Indispensable for making sauces and moles.
Cascabel (kas-kah-BELL) (AKA
chile bola) - Dried cherry chile. Heat: 4. Thickly
fleshed with a slightly acidic and tannic quality. The rich
flavors are a little smoky and woodsy with some tobacco and nutty
tones. Wonderful in sauces, salsas, soups and stews.
Chimayo (CHEE-MY-YO) - Dried
chimayo. Heat: 4. A very flavorful chile. Normally
used in ground or crushed form. It is produced from pure,
seeded, stemmed and roasted chile pods with hearts removed, from the
Chimayo Pueblo in New Mexico. Makes a wonderful sauce, but can
be used anywhere chile powder or crushed red chile is called for.
Chipotle (chee-POHT-lay) (AKA
chile ahumado or chile meco). Smoked Jalapeno. Heat:
5-6. Medium thick fleshed, smoky and sweet in flavor with
tobacco and chocolate tones. Has a subtle, deep, rounded
heat. Widely used in Southwest cooking especially in soups, salsas
de Arbol (ARE-BOL) - Dried chile
arbol. Heat: 7-8. Thinly fleshed; it has a tannic,
smoky, grassy flavor with a searing, acidic heat on the tip of the
tongue. Primarily used in powdered form to make sauces.
Also used in soups and stews.
Guajillo (wah-HEE-oh) - Dried
guajillo. Heat: 2-4. Thinly fleshed and has a green tea
and stemmy flavor with berry tones. A little piney and tannic,
with a sweet heat. Commonly used in salsas, sauces, sups and
Habanero (ah-bah-NARROW) - Dried
habanero. Heat: 10. The king of them all! This is
the hottest of all chiles but under its intense, fiery acidic heat
is a very flavorful fruit. Very thin fleshed with tropical
fruit flavors of coconut and papaya with a hint of berry. Used
mainly in sauces and salsas, but can be used sparingly in soups and
Mulato (mu_LOT-toe) - Smoked
poblano. Heat: 2-4. A different variety of the poblano,
than the one used for the ancho, is smoked to make the mulato.
The flavor is much smokier without the depth or lingering
taste. While the predominant tone is liquorice, there are
hints of dried cherry, tobacco and horehound. It is an
essential ingredient in making the classic mole sauce and can also
be used in the preparation of soups, stews, and other sauces.
Pequin - (peh_KEEN) (AKA chile
pequeno) - Dried chile pequin. Heat: 8. This
domesticated form of the wild chile tepin is thinly fleshed.
It has a light, sweet, smoky flavor with citrus, corn and nutty
tones. The heat is deep, fiery and transient, slightly more
intense than the tepin. Used more for adding heat than flavor,
it is used in making salsas, soups, sauces, and spice vinegar.
Pasilla (pah-SEE-hay) (AKA chile
negro) Dried chilaca. Heat: 3-5. Thin fleshed, its
taste is rich and smoky with a touch of chocolate. There are
some berry, grape and herbaceous tones with a hint of
liquorice. Essential for mole sauces and excellent for other
sauces as well. Especially good a s a seasoning for seafood
Pulla (PUH-yah) - Dried
pulla. Heat: 6. Thin fleshed; it has a light flavor
containing sharp fruit and cherry tones with a hint of
liquorice. Ha s dry, dusty, intense heat. An excellent
seasoning for salsas and stews.
Serrano (sir-RON-no) (AKA chile
seco) - Dried Serrano. Heat: 7-8. Not to be
confused with the Morita, the dried Serrano ha a light fruit and
citrus flavor containing an intense heat. Primarily used for
salsa and sauces.
Red Amazon - Dried
tabasco. Heat: 8-9. Thin fleshed with a sharp, biting
heat, with some stemminess and hints of celery and green
onion. Use din many hot sauces.
Tepin (teh-PEEN) (AKA chiltepin)
- Dried tepin. Heat: 8. The small, berry like chile is
the wild form of the chile pequin. Very thinly fleshed, it has
a dry, dusty flavor and a searing, transient heat. Very good
in salsas, soups, stews and flavored vinegar and oils.