Growing Oaxacan Chiles

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Chilhuacle Negro

Chilhuacle Negro

Chilhuacle Rojo

Chilhuacle Rojo

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the taping of my video series, “Heat Up Your Life,” one of our shoots was in the mercado in Oaxaca in southern Mexico. With my friend Jose Marmolejo translating, I interviewed one of the chile vendors, Eliseo Ramirez (top left), who told me that about sixty varieties of chiles were grown in Oaxaca and nowhere else in Mexico. In 2000, I grew out a number of Oaxacan chiles from the seeds I collected there. Two of the Oaxacan chiles most commonly used in moles are the chilhuacles, black and red, and both smaller than the ones I saw in the market. ‘Chilhuacle Negro’ measured just 2 inches long and 2 1/4 inches wide, while ‘Chilhuacle Rojo’ was 2 3/4 inches long and 1 ½ inches wide. The word “chilhuacle” seems to mean “crate chile,” as “huacal” or ‘guacal” is a vegetable crate. They appear to be related to poblanos. Read the entire article, “Growing Oaxacan Chiles,” here.