Whole Ancho Chiles
The Ancho Chile is a dried version of the poblano pepper. Sweet and full-flavored, these chiles provide mild to medium heat with an earthy, mildly fruity flavor with hints of coffee and a faint raisin taste.
For maximum flavor dry toast chiles in a hot skillet until fragrant or in a 350° oven until puffy and fragrant. Rinse with warm water and soak for 10 minutes to rehydrate or add directly to recipe that will cook for at least 10 minutes.
Storage & handling
Store in a cool, dry place.
Dried ancho chiles.
The Ancho Chile is sometimes mistaken for a pasilla or mulato pepper, but it is actually a dried version of the popular poblano pepper. Mostly grown in Mexico, the word "ancho" means wide, referring its flat, heart shape.
Anchos are a primary ingredient in many traditional Mexican mole sauces, dating back to the origin of the sauce that was invented in the 16th century by Sor Andrea de la Asuncion, a Dominican nun in the city of Puebla.
Part of the Capsicum annuum family, these peppers have been part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BC. While they are now staples in many cuisines, they were not introduced to Europe and Asia until the late 1400s when they were brought to Spain and quickly traded for their variety and as a cheaper alternative to the pricey peppercorns.
Ancho chiles are one of the three "holy trinity" peppers of Mexican mole sauce, which also includes pasilla and guajillo chiles.
In classic mole poblano, turkey is a popular choice for protein, although chicken is also very common. The rich, spicy flavors of our Ancho, Guajillo and Pasilla Negro Chiles paired with fragrant cinnamon and chocolate create the deep flavors of this traditional dish. Given the numerous steps involved in the recipe, consider dividing the preparation over several days to make the task more approachable.