Chilhuacle Rojo Hot Pepper – Ancient and Rare Oaxacan Treasure
One of the oldest, rarest and difficult to find pepper varieties, grown only in a small area of La Cañada, just outside of Oaxaca, Mexico for millennia. The name chilhuacle [chee-WAH-clee] means "old chile" in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, suggesting that it was already an ancient domesticated variety when they rose to power.
Medium-hot with a rich, robust, earthy, slightly smoky-sweet flavor that lasts on the tongue, chilhuacle rojo is a foundational ingredient in authentic Oaxacan dishes like mole coloradito. Pods are thin-walled and broad-shouldered, growing 1 ½ inches across and 2-3 inches long on short, sturdy plants about 2 feet tall. They can vary in shape from almost bell pepper to broad-shouldered and tapered.
Indigenous to Central and South America, peppers were developed into a crop plant around 3,000 BC or perhaps even earlier. Columbus introduced Capsicum into Europe and it also spread to Africa and Asia.
Peppers are used fresh, dried, and cooked. Peppers contain vitamins A and C.
- Growing Peppers 101
- Chile and Pepper Growing Tips
- Grow Better Peppers with Shade
- Fermented Pepper Sauce
- Fermented Chile Paste
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