Chiles are available around the world and, depending on the region, may be mild to fiery hot. Bright colors and shiny skins promise great flavors.
See also cayenne, habanero and jalapeno.
The exact origin of the word chile, when describing peppers, is strongly debated among scientists and has many meanings around the world. Capsicum is the entire genus of chiles and sweet peppers. The exception lies in some parts of Asia and the
The most familiar chile pepper species include:
New Mexico/Anaheim – Also known as a
Habanero/Scotch Bonnet – Similar in size and shape; related but two distinct varieties. Habs are grown in
Jalapeno – A popular hot pepper. Used in many dishes, but very tasty when roasted or stuffed, battered, and fried.
Poblano – A Mexican favorite; considered mild. When dried, they are called anchos.
Seranno – Small peppers that are considered hot, but varies from pod to pod. More widely available than other species.
Thai peppers – This term encompasses many varieties found in Asian markets. Colorful and very hot – used as much for presentation as flavor.
Other standard references will include bird peppers, wax peppers, and ornamentals.
There are many types of dried chile peppers, including:
• Chipotle, which refers to smoked jalapenos.
• The smaller the pepper, the higher the heat level. Use caution