A BRIEF GUIDE TO SOME POPULAR CHILLIES
Ancho MILD - A large, dried poblano Chilli about 8cm long and 4cm wide. Deep-purple to black in color and it has a mild fruity flavor with notes of coffee, tobacco, wood and raisin. Arguably the most used dry chilli in Mexican cooking.
Pasilla MILD + - A dried chilaca chilli and is sometimes called “chile negro”. Flavor is similar to ancho and mulato with fruity, herb-like notes and faint licorice tones. Traditionally used in making the famous “mole” sauce.
Chipotle HOT - A large, smoked, dried jalapeño with a smokey, deep well-balanced heat. Used in Mexican dishes and by vegetarians in stews, soups and casseroles as a substitute for bacon bones.
Guajillo/NewMexico MILD - Also referred to as “Colorado” and “dried California chilli”, is very large, about 15cm long, with an earthy, cherry-like flavor and distinct yet mild heat.
Habanero VERY HOT+++ - These have the most wonderful fragrant, sweet, warm, fruitiness with a piquant background. Don’t be taken by the heavenly smell, it’s devilishly hot! Delicious in salsa - but be careful with the amount!
CayennePepper VERY HOT - It is generally a blend of chilli powders made to achieve a uniform orange to red color and consistent heat. Some say it gets its name from the cayenne region of French Guiana.
Arbol VERY HOT+ - It is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the piquin, the Arbol chilli is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat.
Morita VERY HOT+ - The popular understanding is that the Brown Chipotles are the Green Jalapenos and the Morita are the red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium - hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes.