Chiles of Mexico: Pasilla de Oaxaca

A pile of dried chiles from Oaxaca.

One of the twenty-four varieties of dried chiles more or less exclusive to Oaxaca (though found in parts of Puebla), the chile pasilla de Oaxaca grows in small pockets high in the forbidding Sierra Mixe. Also known as the chile mije, the pasilla de Oaxaca is ripened on the vine and then smoked in small batches. This chile is not produced or exported on any kind of large scale. Although pasilla de Oaxaca is often described as “fruity,” the batch […]

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Online Chile Source

A pile of dried chiles from Oaxaca.

Want to heat up your spring? Carl and Lorena just sent me their favorite online shopping site for chiles. You’ll be in good hands–these people are not new to the game: Pendery’s World of Chiles and Spices (great name!) dates back to 1870.    

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Avoiding the Ouch: El Codo on How to Prevent Chile Burns

An habanero chile.

A Mexican dish without chile is as sad as mashed potatoes without butter. But the fun stops if you handle chiles and then accidentally touch your eye. As you may have noticed, the oil in a chile that makes it taste hot can also induce a chemical burn to the toughest skin on your hands. Even the mildest chile has had me running for a faucet, and the hotter ones dredged up expletives I hadn’t used in years. WHAT’S THE BIG […]

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Rajas de Chiles Escabeches Estilo Codo

Editor’s note: El Codo posted this recipe as a comment to a book review of “From My Mexican Kitchen”, but we think it merits a post of its own. Rajas de Chilies Escabeches homemade, inexpensive, and easy to make Save the brine from your next jar of pickles. Head for the market, purchase a handful of chiles jalapeños, some green onions, and baby carrots (or as small as you can get them). Also pick up a small package of powdered […]

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Chiles of Mexico: Chile Serrano

“There is no doubt, nor room for argument, when it comes to chiles: Mexico reigns supreme.”-Diana Kennedy It’s no wonder. Wild chiles were eaten in Mexico  9000 years ago, and Mexicans have been cultivating chiles for at least 6,000 years. Kennedy points out that long before the Scoville scale was invented, the Aztecs had seven words to describe levels of chile heat. The Oxford Companion to Food notes, “It may also be true that chillies, the chemicals within them, or […]

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