- In Depth
Derived from: Poblano Chili
Origin: Calera, Zacatecas
Harvest: Oct - Nov
Character: Licorice, chocolate, cherries, smoky
Pair with: Tacos, mole, salsa, butter, chicken, pork, corn, beef, beans, onion, garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano, cacao, vanilla, tamarind, tomato, bread.
Mulato is very similar to Ancho as they both come from the fresh Poblano chili but there are differences, especially in taste. Both are green in the initial growth state but Ancho matures to a deep red color and Mulato towards a darker color, a very dark brown shade.
The darker color in Mulato is also evident in the taste profile where hints of licorice, chocolate, cherries and even tobacco are reminiscent. Like Ancho, it is slightly smoky and due to its dark elements its popular in the many versions of the Mexican National Sauce – Mole.
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.
Mulato is a strong, thick, flat slightly teardrop shaped chili. The shell is meaty, lumpy, dark brown in color. It is the fully 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. Ancho Chili is the dried almost 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 Mulato 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.