WHAT IS GUAJILLO?
Second only to ancho in popularity, the guajillo chili pepper is a staple of Mexican cuisine. Called a mirasol pepper in its raw form, when dried it’s then called guajillo. After drying it has a dark, red leathery appearance. With a sweet, fruit flavor and mild level of heat, it’s often used as a based for salsas, sauces and spice rubs. A jalapeno for example is hotter then this chili. Despite being low in moisture, make sure to wash them before cooking. Toast them in a hot pan for a minute or so making sure not to burn them! This is also a popular ingredient in harissa.
WHY IS GUAJILLO GOOD FOR YOU?
Like most hot peppers, it’s rich in capsaicin which is an anti-inflammatory. They’re also rich in vitamin B,C and potassium. And like most spicy foods, it increases the rate at which your metabolism burns calories. That means you will retain less weight while eating the same amount of food!
WHEN IS GUAJILLO IN SEASON?
This is a late spring, early summer crop that requires a soil temperature of over 70 F (21 C). They grow to about 2 feet in height and take up to 3 months to harvest.
HOW SHOULD GUAJILLO BE STORED?
Being already dried, this can be stored in at room temperature in a cool, dark pantry. The biggest concern is that this dried pepper can absorb moisture from the air, so keep it sealed in an air-tight container if possible. Or you can freeze them if stored in an air-tight freezer bag.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ANCHO AND GUAJILLO?
Ancho chilis are sweeter, not as complex in flavor or as spicy as a guajillo pepper. The ancho is a popular substitute since it’s also smoky and low in heat.