Chilies are popular in many countries, but Mexico enjoys them the most. Chilies have been used for thousands of years as an ingredient in Mexican dishes. There are about 140 different types of chilies grown in Mexico. People tend to shy away from chilies because of their powerful heat when eaten, but not all chilies are unbearable to many. Chile peppers are known as being a vegetable, but they are actually a fruit. They contain high amounts of vitamins as well as iron and fiber. There are many types of flavors available. Since regions in Mexico vary, so does the chile peppers and food dishes. Chile peppers come in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. They also come in different amounts of hotness. A good way to tell the strength of the heat is by the size of the chile pepper. The smaller the pepper, the more it will pack a punch of heat.
Chiles are the main ingredients for salsa. The salsa will vary in hotness depending on which peppers are used. Chile peppers also can be used as a meat rub to add flavor. With so many peppers to choose from, do some research before adding them to your meals. Some types of peppers include Jalapeño. They turn from green to dark purple, and finally to red when they are ripe. They are very hot and a good choice for salsa. They are the most well known pepper. Habanero peppers are the hottest of all. They are orange in color, but look similar to sweet green peppers, only smaller. They are also used in salsa. Poblano peppers are the biggest peppers used in Mexican food. They can be mild or hot and are often used in a sauce. Ancho peppers are dried Poblano peppers. They carry a mild flavor and are reddish-brown in color. Ancho peppers are the most common chile peppers used and commonly found in sauces.
Another pepper that is found in Mexican cuisine is the Fresno pepper. It looks like a smaller version of a sweet green pepper. You can find them in guacamole and also in dishes that include black beans. Chipotle peppers are another pepper found in Mexico. It is gaining popularity in the United States. It is actually Jalapeno peppers that are dried by being smoked. They add a smoky flavor to dishes. One other pepper is the Serrano. They are bright green in color with a very spicy hot taste. They are often used in salsa.
You can find dishes using different chiles such as chilate. Chilate is a drink that includes chile peppers, chocolate, and toasted ground corn with water. Another food is Chilis en nogada. It consists of green peppers that are stuffed and fried and covered with cream and pomegranate seeds.
You will be able to find many recipes which include chile peppers. Remember that when handling and cutting the peppers, use gloves because the heat of the pepper can bother your skin and throat. Also try all you can to not rub your eyes. Enjoy experimenting with different Mexican cuisine and have fun while doing it!