Whole Puya Chiles
Puya Chiles are widely popular in Mexican cooking, very similar to the guajillo, only more potent in heat and spice. With a fruitier flavor than many other peppers of its kind, this variety adds a tangy, berry-like punch to its spicy repertoire.
For maximum flavor dry toast chiles in a hot skillet until fragrant or in a 350° oven until puffy and fragrant. Rinse and soak in hot water for 10 minutes to rehydrate or add to recipe that will cook at least 10 minutes.
Storage & handling
Store in cool, dry place.
Dried puya chiles.
The Puya Chile is very popular in present-day Mexico, thriving in the central valley region close to Mexico City. Part of the Capsicum annuum family, these peppers have been part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7,500 B.C. 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.
For those who enjoy a slightly sharper bite to their enchilada sauce, the Puya Chile is a perfect substitute for the similar Guajillo Chile, with the same fruity undertones but a more robust spice level.