An Introduction To Dried Chilies
When you're on a journey to get under the (poblano) skin of Mexican food, you could do much worse than to start by trying to grasp the wonderfully varied use of chilies (or chilies) that exists in Mexican cooking. There exist many types and for each many local variations. Contrary to popular belief, chilies offer so much more than heat and by mixing and matching the milder, more fruity variants you can add tons of flavor to dishes without too much fire! Of course, there are also chili types for those who love that fire.
To understand everything about chilies would take an uncountable amount of hours. Between joyously browsing food markets, exploring the endless variations and types of chilies available, and learning their regional preparation methods from kind and knowledgeable locals, time will simply fly by. Even if it does sound a whole lot like a food lover's paradise, it's hardly doable for many, so instead, we'll try to recreate a tiny fraction of the experience online – ta-dah! We'll stick with the dried varieties of Mexican chilies now, leaving for another time the world of fresh jalapenos, serranos, and habaneros.
We will go over the basic preparation and usage methods that the dried variations share, share a few interesting facts about chilies and the mark they have left on the world, before introducing a few of the more common varieties and their flavor profiles!
Let's get this fire started!