Articles & Recipes

Varieties of Chile Peppers

September 29, 2014

Chile Pepper Varieties

aji chile - also aji amarillo chile. hot with a fragrant, fruity undertone, thin-fleshed, yellow to orange-red skin, grown and eaten in Peru and other parts of south america, commonly used in seviche, good in sauces, stews and marinades; 30,000 to 50,000 SU.

Anaheim chile - a mild, green or red chile; 500 to 1,500 SU.

ancho chile - a dried poblano chile, round rather than long. it looks very much like a dried mulato chile, to which it is genetically related. the ancho is deep purple with a fruity flavor, often used in mexican cooking.

arbol chile - also chile de arbol. hot, slim, 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) long, bright red even when dried, good for salsas, soups and chilies; the name arbol means “tree” in spanish; 15,0000 to 30,000 SU. banana pepper - see Hungarian.

bird’s eye chile - also bird chile, santaka chile, thai chile. tiny and thin-skinned; 40,000 to 60,000 SU.

cayenne chile - thin, bright red, fiery sweet, 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long, most often dried and ground into powder or used in making hot sauces, such as tabasco; 10,000 to 50,000 SU..

chile de arbol - see arbol chile.

chiltepín - also chiltecpín, tepín. red, cranberry-size, sharp-tasting and extremely hot; chiltecpin, meaning “flea chili” in nahuatl; thought to be the oldest of the Capsicum genus; 50,000 to 100,000 SU.

chipotle chile - see jalapeño chile.

Fresno chile - cone-shaped, only 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) long, green when immature and red when ripe, with thick flesh but not as thick as the similar jalapeño chile, good in salsas and cooking. named for the city in california where it was first grown; 5,000 to 10,000 SU.

guajillo chile - mild to moderately hot, dark red-brown and leathery, usually dried whole, although some companies make guajillo chile powder. excellent toasted and used in chili, soup or salsa; 2,500 to 5,000 SU.

habanero chile - meaning “from Havana,” fruity, they look like tiny green and orange jack-o’-lanterns; related to Scotch bonnet chile; 100,000 to 500,000 SU.

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