Poblano pepper is a mild Mexican chili grown in the state of Puebla. The ripe form of the chili is more flavorful than the immature, green colored ones with the latter being substantially less hot as well. The peppers growing on the same plant may vary in heat intensity as well.
The dried pepper is known as anchos while the mulato chili is considered to be another dried variation which is sweeter in taste with a softer texture and dark color.
The poblano chilies are used to prepare stuffed chilies, fried dishes as well as a variety of sauces with the Mexican mole sauce being of particular significance. It is one of the important ingredients of the tri-colored 'chiles en nogada' which is prepared during the Independence Day celebrations in Mexico.
The chili is also popular in the United States and is found in almost all grocery stores in South Western region of the country particularly the areas bordering Mexico. Apart from the fresh variety, the pepper is also available in the canned or frozen forms with the dried forms being sold as anchos and mulatos.
What Is Poblano Pepper?
The pepper is heart shaped and grows to almost four inches in length with a wide diameter measuring about 2.5 inches. It has a bell pepper like flavor with the chili turning brownish-red in color on maturity. It rates 1000-2000 on the Scoville scale, a standard scale of measuring the chili heat. Both the immature as well as the ripe forms of the pepper are consumed throughout Mexico where it has been labeled as the country’s favorite pepper.
It is usually cooked after peeling and its cavernous interior is considered to be ideal for stuffing ingredients. The flavor and the texture of the poblano are enhanced on grilling.
Culinary Uses of Poblano Pepper
The chili pepper is used extensively in Mexican cuisine and is one of the most important ingredients of the mole sauce prepared by grinding the chilies and peanuts. The pepper is also frequently used to flavor a variety of sauces served with chicken and rice dishes.
Some of the most popular poblano pepper recipes include:-
- Chiles Rellenos-A dish of spicy poblano chilies, cheese and tomato deep fried after coating it in batter.
- Chiles en nogada- A classic Mexican dish consisting of pork picadillo stuffed poblano chilies covered in walnut sauce and served with a sprinkling of parsley leaves.
Poblano Pepper Health Benefits
The peppers are high in dietary fibers and low in calories making them ideal for weight loss. They also help to boost the metabolism of the body and can be used as a replacement of salt in low-sodium diets.
The Mexican Emperor, Maximilian was extremely found of cheese stuffed Poblano Pepper dishes prepared with jocoque, a kind of rich, sour cream.