- In Depth
Derived from: Poblano Chili
Origin: Calera, Zacatecas
Harvest: Oct - Nov
Character: Mild and sweet with tones of coffee, raisins, currants and figs.
Scoville: 1500 - 3000
Pair with: Tacos, mole, salsa, butter, chicken, pork, corn, beef, beans, onion, garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano, chocolate, vanilla, tamarind,
Ancho chili is the almost mature dried form a Mexican chili variety called Poblano. They have a complex, unique taste with rich, earthy, fruity flavors and a mild, sweet heat. The dried poblano chilis of Ancho and Mulato are some of the most important ingredients in the Mexican cuisine together with Guajillo.
It is commonly used in sauces, spice rubs and marinades. It is used pureed, powdered or chopped. Ancho, Pasilla, Guajillo and Mulato chilis are the base in many of Mexicos traditional mole sauces and dishes.
Our Ancho chili is sourced from the state of Xacatecas, south of the city of Fresnillo, from a farm operated by Omar and his family. Here the dry cool climate is perfectly suited to grow many of the famous Mexican chilis with full sunlight, high temperatures and perfect rainfall in rainy season. It has been oven dried without smoke. During the drying time the taste changes significantly, one could compare it with grapes vs. raisins.
Always wipe clean and toast the chili before use to wake up the flavors.
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First of all dry clean and cut of the stems of your ancho chilis. You can de-seed them but since they are very mild this is not necessary. Heat will help these chilis come back to life and develop that complex flavor so toast your chilis. Either in the oven at 200c for 1-2 minutes or 20-30 seconds in a hot pan on both sides.
From here you can either chop or grind the chilis if you want to use it in powdered form. If you with to puree the chili we recommend to cover the chilis in hot tap water and let them soak for 30 minutes. When this is done you can easily add them to sauces, salsa, moles or stews. The soak water can also be used but try it first and see how it fits your palate.
This chili is perfect in sauces, marinades and salsas. They are great as chili flakes or as a powder. The slim size makes them perfect for infusing oils, dressings, liquor and beverages like lemonades and margaritas.
Ancho is a strong, thick, flat slightly teardrop shaped chili. The shell is meaty, lumpy, dark brown in color with hints of red. It is the almost fully ripe dried version of Poblano chili, a chili the originates from the state of Puebla Mexico. Dried poblano takes two forms – Ancho and Mulato. The difference is when the poblano is harvested. Mulato Chili is the dried fully mature fruit.
The fruit is 6-16 cm big and grows on small bushes that reach up to 60 cm. From seed to harvest it takes around 200 days.
Our Ancho is from our partner Omars family farm in the region of Calera in Xacatecas. Located on the Mexican plateau on the fringes of the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range it offers the perfect climate for growing poblano, mirasol and chilaca chilis. The dry, arid weather gives the annual plants enough heat to germinate seeds, sprout the first growth and just start to bloom before the warm rainy season sets in followed by months of sun before harvest.
All chili is native to Central and South America and research suggest that cultivation of this plant is over 8000 years old (Aji Amarillo in Peru). The Inca, Mayan, Aztec and other ancient cultures on the continent all cultivated chilis from wild species that then made their way all over the world via the Spanish.