|The most commonly used dried chile in Mexico, the Ancho Chile is actually a dried Poblano pepper. Poblano translates to “people chile” and is a mild chile native to the Mexican State of Puebla. The dried poblano is called chile ancho which translates to “wide chile”. Poblanos are from the species C. Annum.
Ancho peppers are a deep, reddish brown to black in color and the texture is wrinkled. They have a mild fruity flavor with undertones of plum, raisin, tobacco and a slight earthy bitterness. This is considered a medium heat chile (4,000-9,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale). This heart shaped dried pepper is about 3” wide and 4” in length and tapers to a point. A top quality Ancho should be clean, pilable, untorn and aromatic with a smell that is a bit like prunes.
The staple chile in authentic Mexican cooking, Anchos are a critical ingredient in red chili, tamales, many moles, enchiladas, salsa, soups and any sauce that may need some extra mild heat. You can add them directly to your recipes – sliced, diced or pureed. The whole dried pod can be ground in a blender (with or without the seeds, depending on your heat tolerance) or you may want to skip the work and order our popular Ancho Chili Powder or Ancho Flakes instead. If you want to impart an authentic Mexican flavor to your food, use our whole pods for flavor.
Some cooks prefer to toast their Ancho Chiles first for additional flavor and they can easily be re-hydrated by pouring boiling water over them and letting sit about 20 minutes. Don’t let them soak any longer than that as they tend to become bitter. A puree of soaked chile anchos will be reddish brown with a rich, mild, almost sweet taste with a hint of residual bitterness. Per ounce, anchos provide more pulp than most chiles.
There are approximately 2 Ancho chiles per ounce.
The Dried Ancho Chile is a key chile in the famous “holy trinity” of Mexican chiles used in Mexican moles along with the Pasilla and the Mulato chiles. As they both come from Poblano chiles, Mulato chiles are closely related to the Ancho chile but the flavor profile is different as they are picked and dried at different times.
Some of our favorite Mexican chiles are Habanero, de Arbol, Serrano, Jalapeno, Pasilla Negro, Pasilla de Oaxaca, Chipotle "Moritas", Chipotle "Mecos" and Guajillo.
Some of our favorite recipes using Dried Ancho Chiles are Pozole Rojo and Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas.