Field Notes

The Guajillo Chili Pepper


Traditionally used as the key component of the sauce that accompanies tamales, guajillo chilies feature a delightfully acidic flavor. With slightly tougher skins, they’re best made into a puree or paste.

Sourcing and storing: Guajillos are easily found in dried form (both whole and ground) at most supermarkets and online. Store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Fresh Green Jalapeño Chili Pepper

As far as fresh chilies go, jalapeños are among the most recognizable and easy to find. These stalwart pepper are hearty growers, with thick skins that make them suitable for many types of cooking. They can stand up to frying or grilling, and are perfect for pickling (as evidenced by every nacho platter in America).

Sourcing and storing: Fresh jalapeños are available at most grocery stores and Latin markets; they’re also easy to grow in a pot during the summer months. Store them at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.

The Pasilla Chili Pepper

Rich in concentrated in flavor, the pasilla is an amazingly versatile chili. Originally cultivated in central Mexico, the pasilla is just as at home in a light fish stew as it is in a rich mole. Plus, it’s widely available dried.

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