This post is part of the series What Cuban Food Tastes Like and is sponsored by NOSH, a food and beverage incubator in Columbus, Ohio.
Cuban cuisine is a unique blend of Spanish, African and Caribbean influences. It’s similar to Mexican food but with key differences, including the use of citrus fruits and an emphasis on rice. Cuba’s tropical climate also helps create distinctive dishes featuring plantains, yucca, beans and other native ingredients.
Cuban cuisine has gained popularity in the United States over the past few years as more people have traveled to the island nation. Some of these new fans are second-generation Cuban-Americans discovering their roots through food. The younger generation was raised on Americanized versions of their parents’ favorite dishes. But after visiting Cuba, they’ve learned that some of their favorite flavors—like garlic—are used very sparingly there.
The guajillo pepper is a culinary staple of Cuba. It is generally used in cooking dishes such as ropa vieja and boliche, and can be found at most local markets throughout the country. The guajillo pepper is a favorite among Cuban chefs for its rich smoky flavor.
The Guajillo Pepper is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico. The guajillo Chile has a tough skin and must be rehydrated and processed before using in recipes. These chiles are not as hot as some, but they have a strong flavor that lends itself to many Mexican dishes. They are typically used for salsas, moles and many sauces. The word Guajillo means “little gourd” in Spanish.
Guajillos are usually much larger than other chiles and look like large dried red peppers with smooth skin. The flesh of the chile is thick, so it takes longer to cook than some other peppers, but it also holds up well to long cooking times and doesn’t fall apart like some others do. If you want a recipe for an authentic salsa Guajillo or you want to make your own Adobo Sauce then this is the pepper for you!
Guajillo chiles are among the most popular and widely used chiles in Mexico. Once dried, they are usually ground into a powder, but they can also be used to make sauces or as a flavoring agent in soups and stews. They are also known as cascabeles (Spanish for “little bells”). The guajillo is prized for its tangy taste and relatively mild heat.
The guajillo’s heat level is 2,500 to 5,000 on the Scoville scale. This makes it about thirty times hotter than a jalapeño pepper and roughly equal to a serrano pepper. Its heat level is mild enough that it can be eaten raw, though it is typically placed in sauces or other cooked dishes.
Dried Guajillo Peppers**
When the peppers are dried, they turn a dark crimson to brick-red color. The pepper is long, narrow and when ripe can be up to four inches in length. The Guajillo has a thick flesh with a good balance of heat and flavor. They have a berry-like flavor with notes of green tea. Their heat level is roughly 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville heat units. This makes them slightly hotter than the Ancho pepper and slightly milder than the Arbol pepper.
The Guajillo is most often used in sauces or as a flavoring agent rather than eaten fresh. It is used in salsas, moles and adobos or ground into powders.
Recipes using Guajillo Peppers**
Guajillo Chile Sauce Recipe**
This recipe yields about two cups of sauce that will go great on your favorite Mexican dish including tacos, enchiladas or even huevos rancheros. The sauce freezes well so don’t hesitate to double or triple it. You will need:
10 Dried Guajillo Chili Peppers
1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
2 tablespoons Garlic Powder
4 cups Water
2 teaspoons Oregano
The guajillo pepper, sometimes spelled guajillo chili, is an Anaheim type pepper from Mexico. It has a thick skin and can be used either fresh or dried. The heat varies greatly depending on the individual pepper, but for most it is only a mild to medium heat.
The guajillo pepper is most commonly used in mole and tamale sauces. When dried, the guajillo pepper is usually rehydrated before use.
The guajillo pepper (Capsicum annuum) is a variety of chile pepper that originated in central and northern Mexico. It is the most common dried pepper in Mexico, after the ancho chile.
The guajillo chile is long and slender with smooth, glossy skin. It has a tough skin and mild heat. The flavor is fruity and slightly acidic. It tends to be more bitter than its cousin, the mirasol chile. The guajillo’s thin skin makes it easy to cook with as well as rehydrate. The flesh of the guajillo is very thin and has a lot of seeds which are usually removed before cooking.