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Dried Ancho Chile Peppers
Inventory, 5 lbs : 1.73
This item was last sold on : 08/04/21
Ancho chile peppers are large, dried versions of the poblano pepper, averaging 10 to 12 centimeters in length and 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter. The peppers have a flat, wide, and heart-like shape with curved shoulders that taper to a round, slightly pointed tip. The surface is deeply wrinkled with many textured folds and creases, displaying dark red, almost black to mahogany hues. Underneath the semi-thick surface, there is a small, open cavity filled with many golden brown, round seeds. Ancho chile peppers have a leathery and chewy consistency with a faint floral, fruity, and smokey aroma. The peppers are considered one of the sweetest dried chiles and have a complex blend of earthy, fruity, smokey, sweet, and subtly spicy flavors with raisin, plum, and paprika nuances.
Ancho chile peppers are available year-round.
Ancho chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are dried versions of ripe poblano peppers, belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. The dried peppers are one of the few well-known varieties that change names between fresh and dried states and the peppers acquire a new title due to their distinct change in texture, color, and flavor. Poblano chile peppers are named after their native state of Puebla, Mexico, and generally have a fresh vegetal and earthy flavor. When the peppers are allowed to ripen and dry, they develop savory, sweet, and earthy flavors mixed with fruity undertones, creating the Ancho chile pepper. Ancho translates from Spanish to mean “wide” and is a descriptor highlighting the dried pepper’s broad and flat appearance. Ancho chile peppers are mild, averaging 1,000 to 2,000 SHU on the Scoville scale, a measurement of heat, and peppers are deeply valued in traditional Mexican cuisine for adding coloring, complex flavoring, and mild heat.
Ancho chile peppers are a good source of vitamins A and C to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and maintain healthy organ functioning, and provide vitamin K to promote faster wound healing. The dried peppers are also a source of fiber to stimulate the digestive tract and contain lower amounts of niacin, magnesium iron, thiamine, and other antioxidants to fight against free radical damage to cells.
Ancho chile peppers add unique flavoring, aromas, and a dark red coloring to a wide array of culinary preparations. The dried peppers are primarily sold whole to be reconstituted or ground into a powder and utilized as a spice. Before rehydrating, the stems and seeds are traditionally removed, and the peppers are popularly roasted to deepen their smokey flavor. Once roasted, the peppers should be steeped in hot water for 15 to 30 minutes until soft, and then they can be chopped or pureed into soups, stews, salsas, and sauces. The soaking water can also be used to flavor sauces, but it is important to taste the water before incorporating it as it can sometimes contain a bitter flavor. Ancho chile peppers can be blended with vegetables to make a rich soup base, and one of the most popular chili preparations in Mexico is chili con carne. Ancho chile peppers can also be used to flavor enchilada sauce, marinades, and adobo sauce, a paste-like mixture spread over grilled meats. When ground into a powder, the peppers are used as a spice to flavor vegetables, potatoes, meats, and eggs. Ancho chile pepper powder is also occasionally used to spice chocolate-based cakes and cookies. Ancho chile peppers pair well with meats such as turkey, pork, beef, lamb, and poultry, other chile peppers such as guajillo, New Mexican, and pasilla, toasted nuts, radishes, tomatoes, cinnamon, and aromatics including garlic, onions, and shallots. The dried peppers can be stored up to one year in a cool, dry, and dark place, but they should be used between 3 to 6 months for the best flavor. Ancho chile peppers can also be frozen for extended use.
Ancho chile peppers are most famously used as a key ingredient in the Mexican dish known as mole. The thick sauce-like flavoring is traditionally made with over 20 ingredients, sometimes taking days to prepare, and is a beloved recipe cooked for weddings, baptisms, and birthdays. Mole is derived from mulli, an Aztec Nahuatl word meaning “mix” or “sauce,” and is cooked throughout Mexico, especially in Puebla and Oaxaca. There are over 300 variations of mole, but the sauce's base is historically made with chile peppers, spices, tomatoes, and aromatics. Mole poblano, a mole version incorporating chocolate and Ancho chile peppers, is an internationally renowned mole recipe classified as Mexico’s national dish. The dark red-brown sauce is traditionally spooned over pork or turkey, but it can also be used as enchilada sauce, poured over burritos, drizzled over rice, eggs, or grilled vegetables, or used as a filling for tamales. The largest serving of mole ever produced was made at Puebla’s mole festival, an annual celebration honoring the culturally significant dish. The pot of mole was reported to have served over 11,000 people, and Puebla residents are deeply fond of this ever-changing dish, representing the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Ancho chile peppers are native to Puebla, Mexico, and have been cultivated since ancient times. The Mexican state and major city is known for its colonial history and was labeled a World Heritage Site in 1987. Ancho chile peppers are developed from poblano peppers. Poblano is a term used to describe the fresh version of the pepper when it is young and green. As the peppers mature on the plant and are left to fully ripen, transitioning into a dark red hue, the pods are harvested and laid out in the sun to dry over a period of a few weeks. The dried peppers are renamed Ancho chile peppers as they bear a completely different flavor profile and texture. Ancho chile peppers have been utilized in Puebla gastronomy for thousands of years, and the complex dried pepper is one of the significant ingredients intertwined within the cultural heritage of Mexican cuisine. Today Ancho chile peppers are widely found through local markets and neighborhood grocers across Mexico. The dried chile peppers are also grown and sold throughout the Southwestern United States and through online retailers worldwide.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
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Recipes that include Dried Ancho Chile Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.