Chile Piquin (or Pequin Pepper) is a little chili with big heat. These tiny red chilis are used in Mexican cuisine to make hot sauces and salsas. Want to know more? Read on, because I’m going to briefly discuss where Chile Pequin comes from, its spice level, how it’s used, and where you can buy them.
What Is Chile Piquin?
Chile Piquin (or Chile Pequin) is a small chili pepper which is native to Mexico and grown commercially as an ingredient for sauces, soups, and stews. Because the Pequin is a favorite food source for native birds, its been given the nickname “Bird Pepper.” And though they’re small enough (3/4 inches long) to look like bird feed, they do pack a considerable amount of heat.
How Spicy Is The Pequin Pepper?
Chile Piquin is fairly spicy; it ranges from 30,000 to 60,000 heat units on the Scoville scale. Compared to the jalapeno pepper, which ranges between 5,000 to 8,000 heat units, the Chile Pequin is about 7 times hotter.
What Do Pequin Peppers Taste Like?
These peppers have a fruity and earthy flavor. Some even describe them as having a citrus-like taste to them. Sometimes they are sold smoked which makes them even more flavorful.
Cooking With Dried Pequin Peppers
Dried Chiles Piquin are extremely easy to cook with and are frequently used in Mexican cuisine to make a variety of sauces and salsas. In fact, these little peppers are so popular that they’re one of the main ingredients in Mexico’s famous bottled hot sauce, Cholula. They can also be used in soups and stews to add a burst of heat and flavor. The easiest way to cook with these dried chilis is to grind them into flakes or a powder using either a coffee grinder or a pestle and mortar.
Where Can I Buy Chiles Piquin?
Most supermarkets don’t carry a wide variety of dried Mexican chili peppers. I’ve found that they typically offer only the more popular types of chilis such as Chipotle chilis, Chile Guajillo, or Chile de Arbol. However, you may have some luck locating Chile Piquin at a local Mexican market. Finally, if all else fails, buy them on Amazon. Look for reputable brands like El Guapo or Tampico when you make your purchase.