Field Notes

Chili de Arbol Profile

Name: Chili de Arbol

Flavor: juniper, smoke, sage, lemon

Heat Level: Hot

These small, skinny chilies hail from Jalisco, Mexico and pack a pronounced heat. They’re usually dried and are available in whole and ground form. Stored in a resealable plastic bag, they’ll keep for up to a year.

Pairs well with:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Dijon mustard
  • Leeks
  • Pork loin
  • Kale
  • Whole grains

Tien Tsin Chili Pepper

Name: Tien Tsin

Flavor: Dry, grassy, tart

Heat: Medium

Long and thin with bright red brittle skin, tien tsin chiles are a cornerstone ingredient of Chinese home cooking, and is usually coupled with Sichuan peppercorns to provide the characteristic ma la (hot and numbing) flavor profile that the region’s food is famous for.

Tien Tsins are sold dried in both whole and ground forms, and make a great base for Chinese-style chile oil. We also love to leave them whole in stir fries and wok-cooked dishes.

The Anaheim Chili Pepper

Name: Anaheim

Flavor Notes: Kale and Granny Smith apples

Heat Level: Low

Craving that fruity bright flavor of green chili without the wallop of heat that comes with jalapeño or serrano peppers? Anaheims are here for you. The long conical peppers are widely available fresh and canned. When grown to full maturity, the peppers turn red and are referred to as chili colorado.

We love to char them and throw them into salads, or use them raw in pico de gallo. Anaheims have very thin skins, so it takes no time at all to roast them.

Store fresh Anaheims on the counter at room temperature; they’ll keep for up to 5 days.

The Cayenne Chili Pepper

Name: Cayenne

Flavor Notes: Lemon zest,

Heat Level: Medium to High

All hail the OG chili pepper! Cayenne is one of the oldest known chilies to be consumed by humans, and continues to be incredibly prevalent in our kitchens today. Long, thin and bright red, the chili is most frequently encountered in its dried powdered form, and added to rubs for meat and fish, soups and stews, and anything else that might benefit from a little kick.

Cayenne peppers are closely related to tabasco peppers, made famous by Tabasco Hot Sauce. Tabasco’s biggest hot sauce competitors in the US, Texas Pete and Frank’s Red Hot, both use cayenne peppers as the base of their recipes.

In recent years, cayenne pepper has been embraced by the fitness community for its purported ability to help control appetite and encourage weight loss. Cayenne, like all hot chili peppers contains capsaicin, which causes a chemical reaction that makes the brain release endorphins.

Storing: Keep ground cayenne pepper in a cool dry place; it’ll last indefinitely but begins to lose the sharpness of its flavor after about 4 to 6 months.

The Morita Chili Pepper

The size of a prune, this dried, smoky chili is the precocious little sibling to the chipotle. Moritas are made by letting red jalapeños ripen and dry on the vine. They’re then harvested and lightly smoked. The result is a chili with fruity acidity, a touch of smoke and a soft, thick flesh. Use it anywhere you’d use a chipotle; moritas offer a similar, but milder flavor.

Read more