Chile de árbol
|Chile de árbol|
Fresh mature chile de árbol peppers
|Scoville scale||15,000 - 30,000 SHU|
The Chile de árbol (Spanish for tree chili) is a small and potent Mexican chili pepper also known as bird's beak chile and rat's tail chile. These chilis are about 5 to 7.5 cm (2.0 to 3.0 in) long, and 0.65 to 1 cm (0.26 to 0.39 in) in diameter. Their heat index is between 15,000 - 30,000 Scoville units. The peppers start out green and turn a bright red color as they mature. Chile de árbol peppers can be found fresh, dried, or powdered. As dried chiles, they are often used to decorate wreaths because they do not lose their red color after dehydration.
Since they are largely for decorative and garnishing purposes, they are readily substituted in cooking. The chile de árbol pepper can be replaced with cayenne pepper (30,000–50,000 Scoville units) or pequin pepper (30,000–60,000 Scoville units). The pungency-producing chemical capsaicin is produced in the veins, not the seeds of the chile.
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