- In Depth
Derived from: Mirasol Chili
Origin: Calera, Zacatecas
Harvest: Oct - Nov
Character: Combines a mild spiciness with a touch of cranberries, smoky and sweet tomato and even some elements of tea may be present.
Pair with: Tacos, mole, salsa, butter, chicken, pork, corn, beef, beans, hot sauces, marinades.
Guajillo chili is the dried form of mirasol chili, literally meaning “looking at the sun” in Spanish because of how the fruits of this chili grows upwards towards the sun. It is the second most common used dried chili in the Mexican cuisine. It has medium heat with a slightly sweet, tangy, crispy flavor with hints of sour berries.
Together with ancho and pasilla, guajillo chilis forms the holy trinity of chili in Mexican cooking. Guajillo is regularly used in sauces, salsas, dry rubs, marinades and Mexican mole sauces also in North African Harissa.
Our Guajillo 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.
Always 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 guajillo chilis. They are usually de seeded. 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 excess water can also be used but try it first and see how it fits your palate.
Our Guajillo 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 all cultivated chilis from wild species that then made their way all over the world via the Spanish.