The Anaheim Pepper is one of the most popular types of chilis. It’s slightly sweet a little spicy, and perfect for adding just a bit of heat to your favorite dishes. Find out where the Anaheim Chili Pepper originated from, it’s Scoville spice level, and how to cook with it.
What Is An Anaheim Pepper?
Anaheim Chili Peppers are a rather large, slender, and vibrant green chili which is moderately spicy and is similar to the poblano pepper or green bell pepper. They are used in a variety of dishes ranging from salsas to classic dishes like chile rellenos. They are one of the most commonly used peppers and can be found in a variety of grocery stores. In dried form they are called chile California.
A Short History Of The Anaheim Pepper
This pepper was originally called the New Mexico pepper or Hatch pepper when it was grown in New Mexico. However, it was renamed as the Anaheim Pepper after being cultivated in the city of California for which it is named. This slender, bright green, chili has been grown in the city of Anaheim since 1894.
What Do Anaheim Peppers Taste Like?
They are slightly sweet and very similar in flavor to the bell pepper. However, they are just a bit spicier.
Anaheim Pepper Scoville
The Scoville scale is used to determine the heat levels of various peppers by assigning a measurement (heat units) to each one. For example, habanero peppers (which are very spicy) are listed on this scale as having 350,000 Scoville heat units. Whereas the bell pepper (which is not spicy) is listed as 0 on the scale. Anaheim Peppers (which are very mild) are listed as having 2,500 SHU. Two peppers with similar heat levels are the poblano pepper (2,000 SHU) and the bell pepper (0 SHU).
Anaheim Pepper Substitute
The two best substitutes for the Anaheim Pepper are the green bell pepper, if you want a milder substitute, or the poblano if you want a similarly spicy substitute. Anaheim Chilis taste very similar to the poblano and the bell pepper.
Anaheim Pepper Vs. Poblano
While the Anaheim Pepper and the poblano share some similarities, both being larger-sized peppers and mildly spicy, they are most certainly different. The Anaheim Chili is longer, thinner, and more curvy in shape, whereas the poblano is wider and meatier looking. Additionally, poblano peppers are dark green in color whereas Anaheim Peppers are a vibrant “grass” green color.
Why I Love Cooking With These Peppers
Anaheim Peppers have a great flavor and they add just the right amount of spice to any dish. Honest confession, I’m not a huge fan of bell peppers unless they’re used to make fajita veggies. I consider them rather bland and not spicy enough for my personal taste. However, I enjoy cooking for friends and family and they don’t always enjoy the same mouth-blistering spiciness that I do. That’s where the Anaheim comes in. I enjoy the flavor and it still has a bit of heat to it but it won’t send your family running to the kitchen for a glass of water.
How To Use Anaheim Chilis
- When you want to make your salsas less spicy, use Anaheim Peppers as a substitute for jalapeno peppers or chile serrano. Try them in recipes like salsa verde, salsa ranchera, or salsa roja.
- Use them in recipes for stuffed peppers, like chile rellenos.
- Use them in sauces like enchilada sauce or avocado sauce.
- As a topping for salads, tacos, or nachos. Try adding them to my healthy vegan nachos.
Where To Buy Them
Because the Anaheim Chili is one of the most common types of peppers, you will be able to locate these easily at your local grocery store. They’re almost always kept in the refrigerated produce section next to jalapeno and serrano peppers. Select only those chilis which are firm, shiny, and without too many blemishes.
Anaheim Chili Peppers will last for up to a week if refrigerated. However, there are other ways of preserving Anaheim Peppers. They can also be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. Finally, they can also be dried. Dried Anaheim Chili Peppers are called chile seco del norte (also called chile Colorado) which is one of the mildest forms of dried peppers on the market. You can dry them using a dehydrator or cut them in small pieces and cook them in the oven over low temperature.
Are Anaheim Chili Peppers Healthy?
Yes they are! Not only are Anaheim Peppers high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and vitamin A, they are a rich source of capsaicin. Capsaicin is a plant compound which is responsible for the spiciness of chili peppers. Additionally capsaicin is believed to promote weight loss as an appetite suppressant. Finally, studies have revealed that consuming 10 grams of chili pepper can appreciably enhance the bodies ability to burn fat.(1)(2)
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