Dried Chile: Cascabel
Light, nutty flavor; perfect for salsas.
Cascabel means rattle, so some snakes, baby toys and this chile all share the same name. Hold the stem, shake and you've got a very old school maraca in your hands.
This is a popular chile but it's very specific and not in every pantry. They age better than most and they have a particular nutty flavor when gently roasted. There is little or no heat.
Our favorite recipe is from Diana Kennedy and we've had it on our blog for years. A good spoonful is wonderful in beans but also delicious and appropriate on grilled meats and vegetables.
If you're comparing chiles, we like to think of them this way:
Anchos: The foundation. Dense, raisiny but mild heat. Ideal for Sauces
Guajillos: Light and hot, super fruity. Nice for sauces but not a lot of body. We like 2 anchos to 1 guajillo.
De Arbol: Very hot. Mostly for salsas.
Cascabel: No real heat but great nutty flavor. Mostly used for salsas.
Download our Rancho Gordo Chile Guide here.
Latin: Capsicum annuum