Ancho – A dried version of the poblano chile. The most common dry chile in Mexico, from mild to medium with a smoky-sweet flavor and a reddish-black color.
Chipotle Morita – Dried version of the jalapeño chiles. Good for sauces and soups.
Chipotle Mecco – Dried smoked version of jalapeño chiles. Really good for sauces and soups.
De Arbol – Literally means “of a tree”, also called “bird’s beak”. Small and very hot, fresh or dry, it adds a sharp flavor to sauces.
Guajillo – Long and slender with a smooth, brownish-red skin. Best in sauces, soups and stews (essential in mixiote sauce).
Habanero – A very hot chile, can be red, yellow, orange or green in color. Best in salsas and chutneys.
Jalapeño – Mild to medium heat, red or green in color. Red is the ripe version of the green chile. Named after the chile’s birthplace of Jalap, Verracruz in Mexico.
Mulato – Mild to medium heat, it has a brownish-black color, tastes a little like licorice with undertones of cherry and tobacco. An essential chile for moles.
Pasilla – Literally means “little raisin” because of its blackish-brown, wrinkled skin. A mild to medium heat with a kind of sweet flavor, generally used for sauces.
Poblano – The fresh version of the ancho and mulato chiles, it is from medium to mild and has deep blackish-green color. Can be used to make rajas or be stuffed after it has been roasted.
Serrano – Smaller and hotter than a jalapeno chile, commonly used in guacamole, pico de gallo and green or red sauces. Also found pickled.