How many types of Chiles are there?
Did you know that from the 5 main species of Capsicum Peppers (C. annuum, C. baccatum, C. chinense, C. frutescens, and C. pubescens). Capsicum Annuum L is the most common and important group. The greatest diversity comes from Mexico for being its center of domestication, growing over 140 kinds, and trading 64 types.
The most important types are; the green serrano peppers base of the famous "salsa verde", jalapeño, guajillo and ancho, these ones are mild in heat scale but they are strong in flavour and have the most uses. These four are mainly grown in the center and north of Mexico. Next but not least important are the pasilla, habanero, arbol and manzano (apple pepper). There are many others with unique flavours that make Mexican cuisine so special. Some of the chiles are mainly used in their fresh forms such as jalapeños, serrano, habanero and arbol. While ancho, guajillo, cascabel, mulato and pasilla are dried. Others are smoked dried such as chipotle, morita and mora imparting heat with smoky and tobacco overtones.
The environment where they grow impact directly on their flavour. Diversity in soil, temperature, sun exposure, and in general weather condition determine their quality, how meaty, colourful and tasty they are. That is why Mexico's diverse climates and rich land allows their harvest.
Which one is your favourite?
Source: Mexican Ministry of Agriculture: www.sagarpa.com.mx