Monday, June 22, 2009

Poblano, Ancho, Mulato


The name Poblano is derived from the name of a valley called Puebla that is located south of Mexico City where these chiles were first cultivated.

Other Names: Poblano refers to the green, or less mature, stage of several different varieties of chiles including Ancho and Mulato.

Uses: This is one of the most popular fresh chiles used in Mexico. Always use cooked or roasted, roasting enhances the full and earthy flavor. The large size and thickness of flesh of the Poblano makes them ideal for chiles rellenos or other stuffed chile dishes.

Heat: Mild to medium spice.


The name Ancho means broad, referring to the broad and heart shape of these pods once they have dried. Anchos are probably the most commonly used dried chile in Mexico where many varieties are cultivated. Anchos are so popular they may be found under cultivation somewhere in Mexico year-round to supply market demand, but will also grow well in the right regions of the U.S.

Other Names: Ancho is the red, ripe form of the green Poblano chile. Not to be confused with the Mulato, both chiles are called Poblano in their green chile stage, Ancho ripens to a deep red and Mulato a dark chocolate brown color.

Uses: This is an excellent all purpose dried chile and chile powder. The medium spice combined with the sweet dried and concentrated flesh is perfect for most recipes including sauces, moles. When in season, try roasting a perfectly ripened Ancho and indulge in a superb fresh chile.

Heat: Variable from mild to medium.


Mulato means and is a light brown cultivar of a ripe Poblano, comparable to the ripe, red Ancho.

Other Names: This chile ripens from a green Poblano to a chocolate brown chile. This chile may be found mislabeled as a Pasilla in the U.S.

Uses: This is an excellent dried chile and chile powder. The medium spice and sweet brown flesh pair perfectly both fresh and dried. Try feasting on a fresh roasted Mulato chile when in season or snack on a few dried pieces as you formulate the perfect recipe for such a flavorful chile. Mulatos are a great choice for sauces and moles.

Heat: Variable from mild to medium.

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