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Chile De Arbol

A small, but potent Mexican chili pepper.

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Chile de Arbol: the pepper you didn't know about

  • Jun 9, 2010

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, roasted taste that is unlike any other. Chile de Arbol is often roasted over a comal (Mexican flat griddle) to bring out it's awesome flavors.

It's used in Salsas (El Capitan's Garlic Salsa), it's used to top off dishes such as Menudo. And it's used to create Mole's as well. The only place to get it that I've seen is only in authentic Mexican markets such as Vallarta supermarkets or visit the Mexican specialty food aisle in your local supermarket if they have one.

Here's to the little pepper that can...the Chile de Arbol.

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July 11, 2011
For me, this sounds too spicey for the diverticular pockets to handle.
June 13, 2010
Hey Cap, I'm with you on this. I love the dark, smoky profile of the de Arbol chile. Nice writeup! ~Brian
June 13, 2010
Chile de Arbol is used a lot in Mexico especially in salsas and Menudo. Great flavor
June 11, 2010
This sounds really good! Now I have to figure out how I'm going to get my hands on some of this! And I just shared this on Twitter as well, have a feeling a lot of my friends will enjoy learning about this little pepper that can:) Thanks for sharing!
June 13, 2010
Bethany, go to the ethnic section of your supermarket and go to the Mexican foods you'll more than likely find it. But the flavor is dabomb.com!!!!!!!!! Very unique.
June 10, 2010
Awww, the little pepper that can :)  So how spicy is this chile de arbol?  Does it compare to a Thai pepper?  They look kind of alike!  Thanks for sharing!
June 10, 2010
The Chile de Arbol Debbie is similar to Thai chiles except that Thai Chiles usually are called Chile Japones and not Chile de Arbol. However, very similar taste.
About the reviewer
Josue "The Captain" Cano ()
Ranked #186
I'm the creator of the best Garlic Salsa on the planet:El Capitan's Garlic Salsa    This salsa was handed down to me from my parents who brought the recipe from Guadalajara Mexico. During the … more
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About this food


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.
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