Arbol (de Arbols) Chile Pepper Stats
Name: Arbol (de Arbols)
Length: 2 - 3"
Width: ½ - 3/8"
Scientific Name: Capsicum annuum
Other Names: bird's beak chile, rat's tail chile
Scoville Range: 15,000 - 60,000
Arbol (de Arbols) Chile Pepper Origin and History
Chile de arbol has its origin in the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Jalisco. The name means "tree like" in Spanish and was obtained from the tall plants from which it grows. These plants can grow to over 5 feet in height. Arbol chile is a member of the nightshade family and related to cayenne pepper.
Arbol chile is grown around the world. In the northern hemisphere it is planted in March and harvested in August and September. Southern hemisphere gardeners plant the pepper in July through October and harvest in February. The arbol chile is hardy and easy to grow.
Arbol (de Arbols) Chile Pepper Description
The chiles start out green and then turn bright red when they are mature. They have a narrow curved shape, tapered to a point at the bottom with a woody stem.
Arbol have a strong heat and smoky, acidic flavor. They add extra heat, more than flavor, to sauces and dishes.
The bright red color of the arbol chile does not fade even after it is dried. The pods are used in holiday wreaths. After harvesting, chiles are strung to dry in decorative arrangements called ristras. The ristra is hung in the front of the home as a welcome and to bring good fortune.
Arbol (de Arbols) Chile Pepper How to Serve or Use
The peppers are commonly available fresh, dried, or in powdered form. In addition to Mexican cuisine, arbol chile is an important ingredient in Thai curry. The ground powder of the chile is used to season salsas, hot sauces, and soups. It is also sprinkled on raw vegetables. The dried pods of the arbols chile are also used to flavor oil and vinegar.
The arbol chile is not appropriate for pickling because it has very little flesh. However, it is very good for adding extra heat to other pickled vegetables. In Mexico, arbol chiles are fried whole or roasted until crisp and served with black beans. One popular table salsa calls for tomatillos, garlic, onion and toasted arbol chile.
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