Mexican cuisine, known for its spicy flavors and irresistible aromas, is most famous for its unique ingredients and spices, which it skillfully combines. The products used most are corn, zucchini, beans, mushrooms, known as huitlacoche, avocado, various sorts of tomatoes and others.
But that which it gives it its spicy and sometimes outright burning hot aftertaste, is chili peppers, which lie at its very foundation. They are widely used in the preparation of soups, salads, starters, main courses and sometimes even desserts. Here are the most popular types of chili peppers:
This is probably the most common chili pepper and it is definitely hot. It can be consumed fresh, while if dried or smoked it's then called chipotle. The name jalapeño comes from its homeland - Jalapa, the capital of the Mexican state of Veracruz.
2. Chile de árbol
Primarily used dried as a spice. Chile de árbol is also extremely hot and an indispensable component of Tex-Mex cuisine.
This miniature pepper is usually used to season fruits and vegetables.
4. Huatulco Puntado
It is native to the tourist resort Huatulco in Oaxaca, where it is consumed in the highest quantities. Huatulco Puntado is extraordinarily spicy.
It can be yellow, red or green but is always fiery hot. It is grown in Tabasco, Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo.
It is not among the hottest peppers and can be used in nearly all traditional Mexican dishes but is also a must when making stuffed chiles with walnut sauce. If dried, it takes on the name Ancho and is eaten as an added spice to broths and Mexican Mole.
Similar to chipotle, this chili pepper is also dried. It's known by the name Mora.
8. Anaheim Pepper
Used primarily for stuffing since it is quite large. If dried, it's called California.
Has a devilish black color and is used to prepare sauces for mole. When fresh, it's called chilaca and is not nearly as spicy. If dried, its spiciness becomes much stronger, while at the same time gaining a slightly fruity aroma.