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20 September 2013

The pasilla pepper is the dried form of the chilaca pepper. The name translates to “little raisin”, and it is also known as pasilla bajio or chile negro. Learn more about them from ChiliPepperMadness.com.

Scoville Heat Units: 250 – 3,999 SHU
Capsicum Annuum

Pasilla or “little raisin” properly refers to the dried chilaca pepper. The chilaca, when fresh, is also known as pasilla bajio, or as the chile negro or “Mexican negro” because, while it starts off dark green, it ends up dark brown. It typically grows from 8 to 10 inches long.

How Hot are Pasilla Peppers?

Pasilla peppers have a bit of a heat range, though they are not overly hot. The peppers range from 250 to 3,999 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale. Compare this to the popular jalapeno pepper, which averages about 5,000 SHU, and you’ll find the pasilla pepper ranges from 20 to 1.25 times milder.

Pasilla Peppers vs. Ancho Peppers

The pasilla pepper should not be confused with the ancho pepper. The ancho is the dried version of the poblano pepper that growers and grocers frequently mislabel as the pasilla in the United States. The darker anchos ARE also sometimes known as chile negro – thus generating much confusion – but they are not the same as the pasilla peppers.

Learn more about ancho peppers here.

Pasilla Pepper Flavor

Featuring a rich smoky taste and earthy flavor, the pasilla often turns up in dried whole form or as a powder in Mexican salsas as well as in mole sauces and adobo sauces. The pasilla can even create an interesting twist in the flavor and appearance of the standard red chili enchilada sauce. It is also a favorite in combination with fruits or accompanying duck, seafood, lamb, mushrooms, garlic, fennel, honey or oregano.

Learn More About These Other Mexican Peppers

Where Can I Buy Pasilla Peppers?

Pasilla peppers can often be found at local grocery stores near the fresh produce section or in the Mexican section, if they have one. You can also find them at local Mexican grocers.

Or, buy pasilla peppers at Amazon (affiliate link, my friends).

Got any questions? Contact me anytime. — Mike H.

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