The Chile de árbol (Spanish for tree chili) is a small, but potent Mexican chili pepper which is also known as bird's beak chile and rat's tail chile. While only 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) long, and 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 inch (0.63 to 0.95 cm) in diameter, the pepper's heat index is between 15,000 and 30,000 Scoville units. The peppers start out green, but become a bright red color when mature.
Chile de árbol peppers can be found fresh, dried, or powdered. As dried chiles, they are often used to decorate wreaths.
Arguably the 2 most popular Mexican chiles are Jalapenos and Habaneros. However, not enough respect and recognition has been given to the Chile de Arbol. Arbol means tree. Literally, chile de arbol means Chile of the tree. With that said, the chile de arbol is as Mexican as Menudo and a staple in Mexico. However, the name is relatively unknown in America and exists as a shadow to the Jalapeno. The taste is wonderful. It's spicy but it has a really nice smoky, … more