Chilaca Chile Peppers
Inventory, 10 lbs : 0
Chilaca chile peppers are elongated pods, averaging 15 to 22 centimeters in length and 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter, and have a curved to flattened conical shape. The skin ripens from dark green to a dark brown-black when mature and is waxy, wrinkled, and covered in vertical ridges. Underneath the skin, the flesh is thin, pale green, and crisp, encasing a narrow cavity filled with many small, flat and round, cream-colored seeds. Chilaca chile peppers can be harvested at multiple stages of maturity, and when young, the pods have a mildly tangy, floral flavor with a heat similar to poblano chiles. As the pepper matures, the flavor deepens into an earthy, slightly sweet flavor with raisin-like undertones and a mild heat.
Chilaca chile peppers are available in the summer.
Chilaca chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are uniquely flavored, mildly hot pods that are members of the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Native to Mexico, Chilaca chile peppers range 1,000-2,500 SHU on the Scoville scale and are widely used in traditional Mexican cuisine. Translating to mean “old” or “gray hair,” the name Chilaca is derived from the pepper’s wrinkled appearance and is used to describe the fresh version of the pepper. Fresh Chilaca chile peppers are rare in local markets and are more popularly found dried. Once dried, the Chilaca chile pepper is sold under the name Pasilla which translates to mean “little raisin” in Spanish. Also known as Pasilla Bajio, Chile Negro, Mexican Negro, Prieto, and Cuernillo, Chilaca chile peppers are most commonly sold today dried whole or in powdered form and are used in sauces, marinades, and salsas.
Chilaca chile peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, niacin, and magnesium. The peppers also contain some vitamins B1, B2, and D.
Chilaca chile peppers are best suited for both raw and cooked applications such as grilling, roasting, and baking. The pepper can be used fresh and diced into salsas, blended into hot sauce or cream-based sauces for fish, or used to make an enchilada sauce. Chilaca chile peppers can also be blistered over a grill or gas burner and sliced into strips for vegetable dishes, rice, soups, stews, and casseroles, or they can be roasted and used in tacos, tostadas, tamales, and chile rellenos. In addition to fresh preparations, Chilaca chile peppers are most commonly utilized in their dried form, known as Pasilla, and are either used as a whole pepper or ground down into a powder. The dried powders are typically used for savory sauces to pour over cooked meats and in Mexico, the dried chiles are crushed and sprinkled over tortilla soup. In Mexico, they are also a popular pepper for pickling. Chilaca chile peppers pair well with meats such as pork, poultry, duck, and fish, eggs, garlic, onions, fennel, tomatoes, tomatillos, herbs such as oregano, cilantro, thyme, and parsley, mushrooms, rice, and beans. The peppers will keep 1-2 weeks when loosely stored whole and unwashed in a plastic or paper bag in the refrigerator.
In Mexico, Chilaca chile peppers are considered to be part of the holy trinity of chiles that are used to make mole sauce. Mole originated in the Puebla and Oaxaca regions of Mexico and is derived from the Nahuatl language to mean “concoction” or “sauce.” Often made during holidays or special celebrations like weddings, mole is a smooth sauce comprised of chiles, tomatoes, spices, nuts, and sometimes raisins. Mole recipes widely vary between families in Mexico using different secret ingredients, but the holy trinity of chiles almost always includes ancho, Pasilla, and mulatto chile peppers. Mole is traditionally served over burritos, in tacos, over grilled meats, or over rice-based dishes.
Chilaca chile peppers are believed to have originated in the Puebla region of central Mexico just south of Mexico City and have been cultivated since ancient times. Today in central and northwestern Mexico, Chilaca chile peppers are cultivated primarily in Guanajuato, Valisco, Michoacan, and Zacatecas. While the fresh pepper is localized to markets and home gardens in Mexico, the dried version known as Pasilla can be found through specialty grocers and online retailers in the United States and Europe.
Recipes that include Chilaca Chile Peppers. One is easiest, three is harder.
|La Pina en la Cocina
|Chile Chilaca Con Queso y Crema
|Chilaca Chile Snack
|Roasted Butternut Squash and Chilaca Pepper Soup
|Salsa de Chile Chilaca