Native to the Americas, Chile Peppers have been consumed by people for at least 7,500 years, and have been cultivated since 4,000 B.C. Chiles were introduced to the West via Christopher Columbus, who mistakenly called them “peppers” because of their spicy hot flavor. More appreciated than understood by American cooks, Chiles represent to many a whole unexplored continent of flavor and complexity that can only be unlocked through practice and experimentation. This is why we have Chile collections called “Chile Pepper Playgrounds” to encourage cooks to try a myriad of chile flavors in their everyday cooking.
Chiles are best known (in some cases notorious) for the intensity of their heat (“pica” in Spanish). This flavor, produced by the chemical capsaicin, is measured by what is known as a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU). Chiles, however, can range from 2 million to zero HSUs, with the most popular chiles (Ancho, Pasilla, and Guajillo) measuring in the comfortable 1,000 – 4,000 SHU range. Even if you don’t generally like things spicy, the herbal, tangy chile flavor coming from Ancho, Bell Peppers, and Paprika will compliment nearly any dish.
How our Chiles stack up:
|Habanero||100,000 – 300,000 SHUs|
|Bird’s Eye||50,000 – 100,000 SHUs|
|Chiltepin||50,000 – 100,000 SHUs|
|Aji Amarillo||30,000 – 50,000 SHUs|
|Cayenne||30,000 – 50,000 SHUs|
|Urfa Biber||30,000 – 50,000 SHUs|
|Calabrian||25,000 – 40,000 SHUs|
|de Arbol||15,000 – 30,000 SHUs|
|Chipotle||2,500 – 8,000 SHUs|
|Jalapeño||2,500 – 8,000 SHUs|
|Aleppo||2,500 – 5,000 SHUs|
|Guajillo||2,500 – 5,000 SHUs|
|Cascabel||1,000 – 3,000 SHUs|
|Pasilla||1,000 – 3,000 SHUs|
|Espelette||400 – 4,000 SHUs|
|New Mexico||800 – 1,400 SHUs|
|Ancho||250 – 2,000 SHUs|
|California||500 – 1,000 SHUs|
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Bistro Blend Chile Flakes$10.00 – $13.50
This blend of four Central American chile flakes delivers a balanced spectrum of flavor with medium heat, and surprising complexity. Replaces cracked red pepper in any recipe to make your meal memorable. Serve as a finishing spice sprinkled on top of pizza or pasta, or add to olive oil as a dipping blend.
de Arbol Chile Pepper$5.00 – $9.80
Popular in wreaths and other decorations because they retain a bright red color after drying, the Chile De Arbol (“tree-like” in Spanish) is named for its long, woody stem. Be sure to wash your hands after handling, since this Chile carries a strong punch.
Use in Salsa and other Southwest and Central American dishes. De Arbol Chiles are a good substitute for Cayenne, bringing a slightly smoky, crisp Chile flavor.
Guajillo Chile Pepper$5.00 – $8.90
The king of Mexican Chiles, Guajillo is the dried version of the mirasol pepper. Guajillos are large, and have a thick, leathery skin that brings with it more of the spicy, peppery flavor of the original fruit than most dried chiles. We stem and partially seed our Guajillos by hand before milling to accentuate the flavorw of the flesh without overpowering heat.
Because of its rich berry flavors, medium heat, and the volcanic terroir of North Central Mexico, Guajillo is used as a base for sauces, as well as ground or made into a paste to flavor meats, primarily chicken. Guajillo is one of the “holy trinity” of chiles (Ancho, Pasilla, Guajillo) used for moles and other sauces.
Habanero Chile Pepper$11.00 – $14.50
One of the signature flavors of the Yucatan and the Mayan peninsula, Habanero brings an extreme, audacious heat, but an equally audacious signature flavor that cannot be compared to any other chile. Habaneros are Intensely herbal, slightly smoky, with brilliant bursts of intense chile flavors, and will overpower if not paired with other equally strong flavors. We stem and seed our habaneros before milling to accentuate the chile flavors.
Even if used in very small quantities, the bold flavor of Habanero creates a highlight to any dish.
Jalapeño Chile Pepper$8.50 – $23.00
Traditionally cultivated in Veracruz, Mexico, this Chile Pepper has also become a favorite of the Southwestern United States. Not too hot and not too mild, it is delicate in its dried form and should be added to foods for finishing.
Just before serving, add to Southwestern dishes, guacamole, corn bread, salad dressings, eggs, potatoes and vegetables for a little kick. It will lose its flavor and heat if added too early in the cooking process.
Limantour$10.25 – $27.70
Salt blend featuring coastal herb flavors with bright aromatics united with four fiery Chiles. Rub on proteins before grilling or add to veggies in a stir fry. Also great for smoking pork.
Hand blended in small batches with: sea salt, Chiles, basil, savory, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, bay, mint and sage.