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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About the reviewer
Josue "The Captain" Cano (captain)
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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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.