There are more than 200 varieties of chiles, with 100 of them from Mexico. They vary in length from 1/4 inch to 12 inches, long and narrow to short and round, mild to hot, white to yellow to orange to red to green to black. Capsaicin is the chemical compound that gives chiles their heat.

plural: Chile peppers

Season: available year-round

How to select: Look for deep vivid colors with out soft spots. As a rule the larger the chile the milder it is.

How to prepare: The heat of chiles is stored mostly in the seeds and membranes, so remove these to remove the heat. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling, because the oils that cause the heat can burn skin or eyes.

Matches well with: bananas, beans, chutneys, corn, fruit, ketchup, pineapple, rice

Popular Chile pepper Recipes