There is some confusion about the rocotillo chili pepper, since some appear to be from Capsicum baccatum and some from Capsicum Chinense. They look and taste similar but have different origins. In addition, the name “rocotillo” is used locally to describe different peppers in different parts of the world. The chili discussed on this page is one of the more common types referred to as “rocotillo.”
Originally from Peru, the Rocotillo is grown in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the southern United States. This round, pudgy little chili pepper starts out green or yellow and ends up a variety of colors, including red, orange or brown. They can be harvested and used in any of these stages. They can also be dried easily.
Rocotillos have a fruity flavor with mild heat. They are delicious in Spanish or Mexican dishes such as soups, stews or salsa, and they make a great addition to side dishes, such as sautéed vegetables.