Mexican Chili. For at least 6000 years chili peppers have formed and important part of the diet of the Mexican people.
Mexican food is famous throughout the world, and perhaps one of its most characteristic elements is its use of spices, especially chili peppers. Without chilies, many iconic Mexican food dishes would not be the same!
There are a vast number of different types of chili peppers, ranging from the mild poblano chili that originates in Puebla, to the exceptionally hot habanero, mainly produced in the Yucatan. Others Mexican chilies include ubiquitous jalapeño, chipotle, guajillo, tabasco pepper and more.
The principal form in which chili is mixed into Mexican dishes is as a powder or paste. To achieve this, dried chilies are ground into a powder or paste, which also means they can be preserved for longer periods of time. They are then used to make a variety of chili sauces.
The number of chili-based recipes is enormous and some you may already know such as the emblematic Mexican dish known as chilies en nogada from the town of Puebla. This dish features fresh mild green poblano chilies stuffed with picadillo and covered with a thick, creamy walnut sauce. Another famous recipe is called mole and incorporates several varieties of chili, nuts, spices and chocolate to produce a thick dark sauce that is used most commonly with chicken.
When we talk about chilies and Mexico we cannot forget the dish that's a staple on every Mexican table—chili sauces. Hot sauce from Mexico is typically very spicy and it is very common to find the chipotle chili as a popular ingredient in many authentic chili sauce recipes. Since there are so many variations, you can find other chilies, often milder, is some other hot sauces such as cascabel, ancho or pasilla.
Mexican food and its use of chilies has influenced many other cuisines around the world. Without doubt, American culinary tastes have been heavily impacted by Mexico and its culinary influence. Chili con carne, for example, is an incredibly popular dish that has found its way into the American kitchen and is now considered as American as hot dogs and apple pie.
With the amazing variety of uses for this modest yet varied Mexican chili, it’s no wonder that Mexican cuisine has recently been awarded a spot on the UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list!