Chilies are one of the most important ingredients in Mexican cuisine because of their variety in flavor and spiciness. The hotness of chilies is measured with a scoville rating and some of the chilies used in common Mexican dishes can be up to a 350,000- 577,000 scoville rating.There are many as many as 70 different varieties of chilies in Mexico alone and originally the red chilies were eaten dried in most dishes and the green ones were eaten fresh.

Dried Mexican Chilies

Dried Mexican Chilies

Although many chilies are eaten dried or fresh most people nowadays like to add their chili onto their dish with spicy chili sauces (salsa). These salsa are made with a variety of different chilies for different tastes and spiciness. The most prominent chili used in salsa is the jalapeño. Other chilies commonly fond in salsa include

Picante (spicy) salsa bottles found in Mexico

Picante (spicy) salsa bottles found in Mexico

  • Habanero (100,000-350,000)
  • Tabasco ( 2,500-5,000)
  • jalapeño (2,500-8,000)
  • Poblano (1,000-1,500)
  • Serano (10,000-23,000)

A good fact about chilies that anyone planning to travel to Mexico is that the smaller the chile the bigger the spiciness punch it will give you. Also watch out when you are cutting your chilies because you don’t want to rub any of it in your eyes after. As a rule red fresh chilies are two or three times hotter than green chilies, and dried pods are up to ten times hotter than fresh pods. Also the hottest part of the chili is the seeds and the white pith in the center of the chili.

Chile is not only tasty in so many dishes it is also very beneficial towards one health. this is because red chilies contain high amounts of vitamin c and green and yellow chilies contain high amounts of vitamin b6 and iron. The red chilies are nutritionally better for you because the yellow and green chilies are effectively unripe fruit.


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