Chile de Árbol Chili Peppers
SCOVILLE HEAT UNITS: Sources rate this chile in 2 categories- 15,000-30,000 and 50,000-65,000 SHU
Chiles de Árbol are small and thin Mexican peppers, growing to 2-3 inches long and less than a ½ inch wide. They mature to red, and are harvested and used at this stage. Chile de Árbol means “tree chili” in Spanish, a name which refers to the woody stem of the pepper. Other names for this chile include Bird’s beak chile, andRat’s tail chile.
These peppers may be sold fresh, dried or powdered. The dried whole chilis are often used to make chile wreaths, or ristras, because when dried they keep their deep red color.
It is believed that these peppers are derived from the cayenne pepper, and can be traded with the Cayenne or the Pequin pepper when cooking. They are very hot, so be sure to wash your hands after handling them.
Chile de Árbol can be used in any dish to add heat and spice, especially chili, salsa, and hot sauces. It usually only takes a few peppers added to a pot for significant heat.