Each type of chilli has its own unique flavour profile, and what you intend on using chillies for should be taken into consideration when selecting specific varieties. Chillies range from mild and fruity in flavour to piquant and fiery enough to numb your taste buds temporarily. So, how do you know which varieties to choose when you're looking to buy chillies? Here's an overview of four popular types of chillies for you to consider.
The poblano chilli is long, thin and relatively mild. It originated in Mexico and is commonly dried due to its thick skin, allowing the overall structure of the chilli to remain. These chillies have a smoky flavour and deep red colour when dried. Fresh poblano chillies are ideal for use in stir-fries and salads, while dried poblano chillies combine well with rich, earthy flavours, such as shitake mushrooms or dishes that feature dark chocolate, such as mole.
Like poblano chillies, jalapeno chillies originated in Mexico, but they are a little hotter and the red ones have more heat than green ones. They're exceptionally popular in restaurant and home kitchens alike, and they also contain vitamins A and C. Jalapenos are delicious when finely sliced and served with tacos or when stuffed with cream cheese before being dipped in batter and fried until crunchy.
Bird's eye chillies are thin and pointy and they are only a couple of centimetres long. They originated in South America and are considered to have pain-relieving properties. Bird's eye chillies have a medium heat rating with underlying citrusy notes, which makes them a popular choice for curries and casserole dishes.
Ghost pepper chillies are one of the hottest chillies in the world. They originated in India, and, despite their heat, they have a notable fruity undertone that's difficult to resist. Only a tiny bit of a ghost pepper chilli needs to be used to add heat to a dish, and this type of chilli is often used to make hot sauces and marinades. Ghost pepper chillies are also popular at chilli eating contests.
These chillies are just a few examples of the diversity on offer. When selecting chillies you should always try to inspect them before making a purchase. Look for shiny skins and firm flesh, as chillies that are past their best can lose flavour quickly. If you're unsure of the right types of chillies for your needs, discuss your requirement with your local chilli supplier.