Not to be confused with poblano.

Two pasilla chiles
Species Capsicum annuum
Heat Low
Scoville scale 1,000–3,999 SHU
Fresh dark brown chilaca peppers
A fresh poblano pepper, often sold incorrectly under the name 'pasilla' north of Mexico

The pasilla chile or chile negro is the dried form of the chilaca chili pepper,[1] a long and narrow member of species Capsicum annuum. Named for its dark, wrinkled skin and pronounced pah-SEE-yah (literally "little raisin"),[2] it is a mild to medium-hot, rich-flavored chile. As dried, it is generally 6 to 8 in (15 to 20 cm) long and 1.0 to 1.5 in (2.5 to 4 cm) in diameter.

The fresh narrow chilaca can measure up to 9.0 in (22 cm) long and often has a twisted shape, which is seldom apparent after drying. It turns from dark green to dark brown when fully mature.[3]

In the United States, producers and grocers often incorrectly use 'pasilla' to describe the poblano, a different, wider variety of pepper, the dried form of which is called an ancho.[4][5]


Pasilla are used especially in sauces. They are often combined with fruits and are excellent served with duck, seafood, lamb, mushrooms, garlic, fennel, honey, or oregano. They are sold whole or powdered in Mexico, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Pasilla de Oaxaca is a variety of smoked pasilla chile from Oaxaca used in mole negro.[6]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pasilla chile.


  1. Jean Andrews (January 1995). Peppers: the domesticated Capsicums. University of Texas Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-292-70467-1. Retrieved 9 March 2010.
  2. Rombauer, I, et al. (1997). The Joy of Cooking, pp. 399–402, New York: Scribner. ISBN 0-684-81870-1
  3. Andrews, Jean (2005). The peppers cookbook: 200 recipes from the pepper lady's kitchen. Denton, Tex: University of North Texas Press. p. 16. ISBN 1-57441-193-4. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  4. Pasilla vs. Poblano.
  5. Pepper, chili. CHOW. CBS Interactive.
  6. DeWitt, Dave; Evans, Chuck (1997). The Pepper Pantry: Chipotle. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press. ISBN 9780307824363. Retrieved 2012-10-08. Pasilla de Oaxaca: a variety of pasilla chile that is smoked in Oaxaca and is used in the famous mole negro.

Further reading

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