Pronounced "POO-yuh". The Puya chile is also sometimes referred to as “Pulla”. A member of the C.annum species the Puya chiles are plentiful in Mexico City and the surrounding region throughout the Central Valley of Mexico. Puya Chiles have been the center of a spirited debate among serious chile heads in determining if it is a hybrid of the de Arbol or the Guajillo chile. We fall in the camp of it being related to the Guajillo.
Puya chiles look very similar to the more popular Guajillo. Puyas tend to be a bit smaller and pack more heat (5,000 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units) than the Guajillos (2,500-5,000 SHU). Puya chiles are considered a medium heat chile while Guajillos a more of a mild chile. The relationship between these two chiles closely resembles how the California Chile (also called Anaheim chiles) looks very similar to the New Mexico chile but with different heat levels.
Puya chiles are slightly curved and elongated while tapering to a point. 3-4” in length these thin red peppers ripen to a deep crimson to purplish color and are a bit translucent. These chiles have an intense heat that is pungent, dry and a bit dusty. Puya Chiles have a light fruity flavor profile, with licorice and cherry undertones that brings to mind wild berries. Our Puya chiles are grown in Mexico.
They are approximately 15-18 chiles per ounce.
Puya chiles are a favorite substitute of Guajillos by sophisticated chefs who are looking more for their fruity flavor more than for the flesh of the chile pod. This makes them ideal to be diced, pureed or mashed and then made into a sauce.
The Puya Chile is a popular chile in central Mexican cuisine and we like to use these as a substitute for Guajillo chiles in our Mexican mole sauces for some added kick. Use Puya chiles to flavor meat dishes using chicken, fish, pork or veal. Also adds delightful flavor to breakfast burritos, casseroles, chutneys, cooked vegetables, dips, enchiladas, pizza, salsas, sauces, soups and stews.
To rehydrate your Puya chiles soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes and then either dice them or puree them in a food processor before adding to your recipe. Like most chiles we use we like to bring out even more intense flavor by roasting or toasting them first. You can either toast them in a hot skillet for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat or stick in a pre-heated 250° oven on a warm sheet for 3-4 minutes.
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