Mexico, the country of 64 chiles

The most produced chiles in Mexico are: the serrano, jalapeño, guajillo, wide, pasilla, habanero, arbol and manzano.

For many Mexicans a good taco al pastor must be accompanied by its respective lemon and red sauce, because “if it does not burn, it does not have taste”. Like corn, chili is a very valuable ingredient for our cuisine and is part of our national identity, as it is present in almost all our dishes.

According to the National System of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (SINAREFI) there are 64 types of chili peppers located throughout the country and 200 landraces.

mexican chiles

The most produced chiles are: the serrano, jalapeño, guajillo, wide, pasilla, habanero, arbol and manzano. And among the most commonly used dried chiles are the chile bolita, cascabel, chicostle, chilhuacle and morita.

One of the most spicy chiles produced in Mexico is the habanero, which is grown mainly in Yucatan, Baja California Sur, San Luis Potosi, Chiapas, Sonora, Tabasco and Veracruz. They are followed by the Manzano, Chiltepin, Arbol, and Serrano.

Contrary to what many believe, what causes the chile to be very spicy is not its shape or the color of the skin (red, yellow or green) but the seeds.

The reason why the chiles can become so addictive is because there is a substance known as capsaicin which is produced in the veins of chilies and when consumed causes our brain to produce endorphin, which is responsible for emitting sensations of pleasure, happiness and well-being.

Most chilies can be eaten raw, stuffed, pickled, roasted, in sauces or marinades. What is your favorite?

By:Paulina Salgado

Source: Gourmet de Mexico

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