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Two pasilla chiles
Species Capsicum annuum
Heat Low
Scoville scale 1,000–3,999 SHU
Fresh dark brown chilaca peppers
A fresh poblano pepper, often sold incorrectly under the name 'pasilla' north of Mexico

The pasilla chile or chile negro is the dried form of the chilaca chili pepper,[1] a long and narrow member of species Capsicum annuum. Named for its dark, wrinkled skin and pronounced pah-SEE-yah[needs IPA] (literally "little raisin"),[2] it is a mild to medium-hot, rich-flavored chile. As dried, it is generally 6 to 8 in (15 to 20 cm) long and 1.0 to 1.5 in (2.5 to 4 cm) in diameter.

The fresh narrow chilaca can measure up to 9.0 in (22 cm) long and often has a twisted shape, which is seldom apparent after drying. It turns from dark green to dark brown when fully mature.[3]

In the United States, producers and grocers sometimes incorrectly use "pasilla" to describe the poblano, a different, wider variety of pepper, the dried form of which is called an ancho.[4][5]


Pasilla are used especially in sauces. They are often combined with fruits and are excellent served with duck, seafood, lamb, mushrooms, garlic, fennel, honey, or oregano.[citation needed] They are sold whole or powdered in Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom.[citation needed]

Pasilla de Oaxaca is a variety of smoked pasilla chile from Oaxaca used in mole negro.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jean Andrews (January 1995). Peppers: the domesticated Capsicums. University of Texas Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-292-70467-1. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  2. ^ Rombauer, I, et al. (1997). The Joy of Cooking, pp. 399–402, New York: Scribner. ISBN 0-684-81870-1
  3. ^ Andrews, Jean (2005). The peppers cookbook: 200 recipes from the pepper lady's kitchen. Denton, Tex: University of North Texas Press. p. 16. ISBN 1-57441-193-4. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  4. ^ Pasilla vs. Poblano Archived 2010-11-24 at the Wayback Machine..
  5. ^ Pepper, chili. CHOW. CBS Interactive.
  6. ^ DeWitt, Dave; Evans, Chuck (1997). The Pepper Pantry: Chipotle. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press. ISBN 9780307824363. Retrieved 2012-10-08. Pasilla de Oaxaca: a variety of pasilla chile that is smoked in Oaxaca and is used in the famous mole negro.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kennedy, Diana. The Cuisines of Mexico (revised edition) New York: Harper & Row, 1986.
  • Kennedy, Diana. From My Mexican Kitchen: Techniques and Ingredients. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2003.
  • McMahan, Jacqueline Higuera. Red & Green Chile Cookbook. Lake Hughes, CA: The Olive Press, 1992.