Fruit and Seeds
Fresh, Dried, powdered
In the culinary arts,ancho is the name for a type of dried chili pepper commonly used in Mexican cooking.
The ancho chili is the dried version of the poblano pepper. Ancho chiles have a deep red color and a wrinkled skin. Anchos are sweet and smoky with a flavor slightly reminiscent of raisins. Their heat is mild to medium-hot.
Ancho chiles can be used whole, in which case they are typically reconstituted by soaking them in hot water to soften them. Anchos are also sometimes ground into powder which is then used in spice rubs or for making mole, enchilada sauce and chili.
Other uses include adding the reconstituted and puréed ancho to mashed potatoes or making a spicy ancho cream sauce to
serve with enchiladas. You could also make a honey-ancho glaze to
brush onto salmon before sautéeing.
Ancho chiles register between 1,000 and 2,000 Scoville heat units on
the Scoville Scale.
They're sometimes incorrectly referred to a pasilla peppers, but they're
not the same thing
The poblano is a mild chili pepper originating in the state of
Puebla, Mexico. Dried, it is called ancho or ancho chile, from the Mexican Spanish name ancho ("wide") or chile ancho ("wide chile"). The ripened red poblano is significantly hotter and more flavorful than the less ripe, green poblano. While poblanos tend to have a mild flavor, occasionally and unpredictably, they can have significant heat. Different peppers from the same plant
have been reported to vary substantially in heat intensity. A closely related variety is the mulato, which is darker in color, sweeter in flavor, and softer in texture.
One of the most popular peppers grown in Mexico, the bush (of the species Capsicum annuum) has multiple stems and can reach 25 in (0.64 m) in height. The fruit is 3 to 6 in (7.6 to 15.2 cm) long and 2 to 3 in (5.1 to 7.6 cm) wide. An immature poblano is dark purplish green in color, but the mature fruits eventually turn a red so dark as to be nearly black.
Preparation methods include: dried, coated in whipped egg (capeado) and fried, stuffed, or in mole sauces. It is particularly popular during the Mexican independence festivities as part of a dish called chiles en nogada, which incorporates green, white, and red ingredients corresponding to the colors of the Mexican flag. This may be considered one of Mexico's most symbolic dishes by its nationals. It is also usually used in the widely found dish chile relleno. Poblanos are popular in the United States and can be found in grocery stores in the states bordering Mexico and in urban areas.
After being roasted and peeled (which improves the texture by removing the waxy skin), poblano peppers are preserved by either canning or freezing. Storing them in airtight containers keeps them for several months. When dried, the poblano becomes a broad, flat, heart-shaped pod; from this form, it is often ground into a powder used as flavoring in various dishes.
"Poblano" is also the word for an inhabitant of Puebla, and mole poblano refers to the spicy chocolate chili sauce originating in Puebla.