Dried Cascabel Chile Peppers
Inventory, 5 lbs : 0
This item was last sold on : 11/20/22
Dried Cascabel chile peppers are a small varietal, averaging 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter, and have a somewhat round to oval shape tapering slightly toward the blunt, curved tip. The dried pods retain a similar appearance to the fresh peppers, not becoming as wrinkled as other dried chiles, but there are still a few deep creases, folds, and indentations within the pod. The pepper should also have a little give when squeezed, an indication that it is still fresh and not overly mature. The pepper’s skin is tough, leathery, smooth, and glossy, found in variegated hues of dark red and brown, almost black. The skin is also speckled with gold and orange patches, a natural by-product of the drying process that will not affect the pepper’s flavor. Underneath the surface, there is a thin layer of dark red-orange flesh encasing a hollow central cavity filled with round, golden yellow seeds. Dried Cascabel chile peppers have a fruity, savory aroma, and the flesh has a complex blend of earthy, woodsy, floral, and smoky flavors mixed with nutty and acidic nuances. The peppers have a mild to moderate heat that is initially strong but quickly dissipates on the palate.
Dried Cascabel chile peppers are available year-round.
Dried Cascabel chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are the dehydrated versions of the fresh Cascabel chile pepper, belonging to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Cascabel peppers are native to Mexico and are one of the few peppers to share the same name for both the dried and fresh versions. The small peppers contain mild to moderate heat, ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 SHU on the Scoville scale, and are primarily used in their dried forms throughout Mexico to flavor soups, stews, sauces, and salsas. Dried Cascabel chile peppers are a prevalent commercial cultivar in Mexico, but outside of Mexico, the peppers are considered an uncommon variety, offered through specialty retailers and chile pepper enthusiasts.
Dried Cascabel chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A to maintain healthy organ functioning, vitamin C to strengthen the immune system while reducing inflammation, fiber to regulate the digestive tract, and iron to develop the protein hemoglobin for oxygen transport through the bloodstream. The peppers also provide vitamin K to assist in faster wound healing, B vitamins to transform food into energy, magnesium to support nerve and muscle operations, and contain lower amounts of nutrients, including manganese, copper, riboflavin, potassium, niacin, and antioxidants.
Dried Cascabel chile peppers have a rich, savory flavor well suited for cooked preparations. The dried peppers can be ground into a chile powder or rehydrated for culinary preparations. Before reconstituting, the peppers are toasted to enhance their flavor, and then the peppers are soaked in hot water for 10 to 20 minutes. It is recommended to finely mince, puree, or chop rehydrated Cascabel chile peppers into a smooth consistency as the peppers can sometimes retain a tough, leathery nature. Rehydrated Cascabel chile peppers are popularly mixed into sauces for enchiladas, tamales, and casseroles, or they are chopped into salsa and spooned over tacos, fajitas, and quesadillas. They also contribute a mild spice to marinades for roasted meats or stirred into soups and stews. In Jalisco, Mexico, Cascabel chile peppers are used to flavor birria; a traditional Mexican beef stew often served for holidays. The peppers are also incorporated into a sauce for chilaquiles, a dish of fried tortilla strips mixed with tomato sauce and cheese. In addition to rehydrating, Dried Cascabel chile peppers can be ground into powder or flakes and sprinkled over dishes as a spice. Powdered Cascabel chile peppers can be used as a dry rub over corn or meat, stirred into stews and soups, mixed into dips, or sprinkled over any recipe for added flavor and heat. Cascabel chile peppers pair well with other chile peppers, including guajillo, ancho, and pasilla, meats such as beef, pork, and poultry, aromatics including garlic, shallots, and onions, tomatoes, tomatillos, cilantro, lime, and corn. Whole, unwashed Dried Cascabel chile peppers will keep up to one year when stored in a sealed container away from direct sunlight. Using the dried peppers between 3 to 6 months after harvest will ensure the best quality and flavor.
Dried Cascabel chile peppers have acquired several nicknames throughout Mexico and are often labeled by these names in local markets. The name Cascabel roughly translates from Spanish to mean “jingle bell,” “little bell,” or “rattle,” a description of the sound the dried seeds make inside of the round pepper when it is shaken. Jingle Bell pepper, Sleigh Bell chile, Little Bell, and Rattle chile are all used colloquially to describe Dried Cascabel chile peppers, and this rattling characteristic has made the pepper quite famous throughout Mexico. Dried Cascabel peppers are also sometimes labeled as Guajones, and in their fresh state, the peppers are nicknamed Chile Bola, meaning “ball chile.”
Cascabel chile peppers are native to Mexico and are descendants of ancient chile peppers cultivated for thousands of years. The history of the variety is mostly unknown, as they have not been well-documented, but experts believe dried and fresh versions of Cascabel chile peppers have been widely cultivated and consumed specifically in Central Mexico, expanding over time to the rest of the country. Today Cascabel chile peppers are mainly produced in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosi, and Coahuila. The dried peppers are sold in local markets and are exported worldwide through online retailers and distributors.
Recipes that include Dried Cascabel Chile Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Local Kitchen||Peach Cascabel BBQ Sauce|
|Local Kitchen||Ramp & Cilantro Pesto|