Pasilla Peppers: Everything About Them

If you are someone that loves a bit of added spice to add an extra kick to the dish that you are making, then you might be looking for new peppers to use in your cooking. One option that you might have heard about is the pasilla pepper.

Pasilla peppers are a type of Mexican chilli pepper that can be used to make a variety of different dishes. They offer a good level of spice while also providing a unique flavor when they are used for cooking.

Pasilla Peppers: Everything About Them

In this article, we are going to tell you everything that you might want to know about the Pasilla pepper, so you can figure out if this is a pepper that you might want to use. We are also going to look at the taste and heat level of these peppers.

What Is A Pasilla Pepper?

The pasilla, also known as chile pasilla or little raisin, actually refers to the dried chilaca pepper, which is a very popular Mexican chilli pepper.

When this pepper is fresh, it is also known as pasilla bajio, or sometimes even as the chile negro or Mexican negro. This is due to the fact that even though it starts off as green in color, it will end up being a dark brown color. This pepper will grow between 8 and 10 inches long.

Pasilla peppers are very popular when it comes to Mexican cuisine and cooking, and they are most commonly used for making sauces like moles, table sauces, and even salsas. Interestingly, these peppers can also be ground into a powder for similar uses, or they can also be used as seasoning.

The pasilla pepper is very versatile in cooking, and many peppers in Mexico are dried for culinary purposes. This is why they end up having so many names, because the taste, characteristics, and uses of the pepper can completely change, depending on what form it is being used in.

The chile pasilla, as well as ancho peppers and guajillo peppers, are also sometimes thought to comprise the holy trinity of Mexican chilli peppers, sometimes in combination with the dark mulato pepper, although that is quite a loose term for what is being described.

How Hot Are Pasilla Peppers?

Pasilla peppers have quite a wide range when it comes to their heat, but they are not the hottest of peppers. They will range anywhere from 250 to 3999 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale.

If you were to compare this to the widely popular jalapeno pepper, which averages at around 5000 SHU, you will find that the pasilla pepper is between 20 and 1.25 times milder than the alternative. The majority of pasilla peppers are not very hot, but with some, you will get a respectable level of heat.

Pasilla Peppers Versus Ancho Peppers

Two peppers that are often confused with one another are the pasilla pepper and the ancho pepper. These are both very popular peppers, but they are very different to one another in certain ways.

The ancho is actually a dried version of the poblano pepper, which is commonly mislabeled as the pasilla pepper in the United States. The arker of the anchos are sometimes called chile negro, and this is where a lot of the confusion comes from.

However, they are not the same as pasilla peppers. There are also some recipes around to make roasted pasilla peppers or stuffed pasilla peppers, but more often than not, these recipes are featuring fresh poblano peppers, rather than pasilla peppers.

So, it is not surprising why these two peppers are often confused.

Pasilla Peppers Versus Ancho Peppers

What Do Pasilla Peppers Taste Like?

Pasilla peppers have a rich and smoky taste that is paired with an earthy flavor. This pepper will often be used in dried whole form, or sometimes as a powder in Mexican salsas, in addition to mile sauces and adobo sauces.

Pasilla pepper can even be used to create an excellent twist in flavor and appearance when making red chilli enchilada sauce. Finally, it is often a favorite to pair in combination with certain fruits, or to serve with duck, lamb, seafood, garlic, mushrooms, oregano, or honey.

Alternative Mexican Peppers

Pasilla peppers are not the only type of Mexican pepper that you can use when it comes to cooking. Some other alternative that you could use for your recipe instead include:

  • Ancho Peppers
  • Chile de Arbol Peppers
  • Chipotle Peppers
  • Cascabel Peppers
  • Guajillo Peppers
  • Morita Peppers
  • Mulato Peppers
  • Pasilla Peppers
  • Puya Peppers

Where Can I Purchase Pasilla Peppers?

You will more than likely be able to purchase pasilla peppers at the majority of local grocery stores. They can typically be found near the fresh produce section, or sometimes in the Mexican section if there is one available. Failing this, you may even be able to find them at local Mexican grocers.

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