Another of the marvelous Mexican Chiles the Cascabel is a member of the Capsicum annuum species and is also known as Cascabel peppers, guajones, coras chile bola and rattle chile which refers to both the shape of the chile as well as the sound the seeds make when a dried chile is shaken. The Cascabel is a plump, round, smooth and small chile that ripens from green to red. When dried, the color darkens to a deep reddish-brown with an almost transparent but thick skin. When mature they are about 1-1/2” in diameter.
Unlike many chiles these are known by the same name whether fresh or dried. Recipes that call for Cascabel chiles typically are referring to the dried chile. The Cascabel is sometimes confused with the Catarina chile (their seeds also rattle when the chile is dried) and also as a darker cherry chile pepper (due to the similar sizes and shapes).
The Cascabel is grown in several states throughout Mexico including Coahuila, Durango, Guerrero, Jalisco and San Luis Potosi.
The flavor profile of the Cascabel is woodsy, acidic and slightly smoky with tobacco and nutty undertones. This chile is considered a mild heat chile (1,000-2,500 on the Scoville Heat Scale).
There are approximately 10 chiles per ounce.
We like to roast these chiles on a hot skillet before using and then they can either be ground or rehydrated in warm water so they can then be made into a paste or a sauce. We also like to pair these with other Mexican chiles for more complex depths of flavor. If you are rehydrating these we recommend not soaking them for more than 20 minutes or they become bitter.
The nutty taste of roasted Cascabel’s pairs equally well with tomatoes or tomatillos in casseroles, enchiladas, fajitas, salsas, sauces, soups, stews, tamales and tacos.
If you’re a fan of flavorful mild chiles you’ll love these – Ancho Chiles, California Chiles, Guajillo Chiles, Mulato Chiles, New Mexico Chiles and Pasilla Negro Chiles.
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