Ancho Chillies Or Chile Ancho Large Jar 35g details and description
Steenbergs Ancho Chilli - or Poblano Chilli - is the dried poblano chilli and is also called "the wide chile" in Mexico. The Ancho chilli is the most popular dried chilli in Mexico. Ancho chillis are very dark red - almost black - and are wrinkled, with a flavour that is fruity with hints of tobacco and raisin coming through. Fresh poblano chillis look very much like a large sweet pepper with dark patches. Overall fairly mild, fruity and mildy acidic. We rate it at 3/10 with about 1500 Scoville heat units.
Chilli plants vary considerably in size, appearance and heat. Capsicum annuum is a herb or small shrub, with oval leaves and firm woody stems, growing to 1 metre high (3ft). They are usually grown as annuals as the yield of chilli fruits diminishes after the first year. The chilli pod is a many seeded red berry with a shiny skin that comes in a wide variety of shapes, colours, thickness and spicy heat. The poblano chile fruit is 7-15cm (3-6 inches) long and 5-8cm (2-3 inches) wide.
The aroma and flavour of fresh chillis is distinctly capsicum-like, with a hint of sweetness. Their pungent bite comes from the levels of capsaicin present in the fruit; capsaicin causes the brain to release endorphins and so feelings of wellbeing. To make dry chillis, the fresh chillies are dried indoors at 20-25C (68-77F) to allow them to fully ripen, then they are dried outside on concrete floors, roofs of buildings or woven mats. At night they are heaped into piles and covered with tarpaulins to protect them, before being spread out again during the day. It takes roughly three days for the moisture content to be brought down to 10% from 70-80% when fresh; as an approximation, 100kg of fresh chillies yields 25-35kg of dried chilli spice. Ancho chillis are 8cm long (3.25 inches) and 4cm wide (1.5 inches), and anchos are a deep purple to black colour and have a mild fruity flavour with hints of wood and raisin. For more information on ancho chilli, visit Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages, Ingredientia and Wikipedia.
Ancho chillis are used predominantly in Mexican cooking. A good starting recipe is this recipe for Mexican Red Chile Sauce, which is based on a Diana Kennedy recipe, Ancho chile sauce, Ancho chile venison, or look at Allrecipes page on ancho chili. Then there is a strange chili from Coca Cola that uses coke as a sweetener - weird but different. Ancho chilli works well with chocolate - why not try an ancho chilli chocolate brownie?
Steenbergs Ancho Chilli Pepper is part of Steenbergs range of over 400 organic spices, peppers, seasonings, herbs and flavoured sugars. At Steenbergs, we also have a good range of chili peppers to cover most people's needs and heat requirements from the blisteringly hot naga jolokia and habanero through to mild paprika.