Mexico is the center of origin, domestication and diversification of the Capsicum annuum chile variety; these plants are woody-stalked and shrub-like. Their flowers are usually white, sometimes greenish. Fruits vary in size, color and flavor, depending on soil type, climate, etc.
The cascabel chile is a member of this species and is one of several varieties of mirasol chile.
Mirasol chile features various sized, colored and flavored fruits. Fresh, colors range from bright red to crimson; dried, the mirasol receives different names: chile cascabel, guajillo, and costeño Catarino, among others.
In some parts of Mexico it is called chile bola, bolita or canica when fresh; it is green when unripe and bright red when ripe; measures no greater than an inch; and its form is cherry-like (i.e., nearly spherical).
Cascabel chile (also called trompito) is the name assigned to the dry fruit, whose color is reddish brown, and features a subtly spicy flavor; this characteristic flavor emerges after drying, related to the number of seeds the fruit contains in proportion to the pepper’s size and shape. When shaken, cascabel chiles rattle like their namesake cascabeles—i.e., sleigh bells.
Catarino or catarina chiles (fresh or dried) have similar characteristics to cascabel chiles, belong to the same species and are related to mirasol chiles. When fresh, they have the same color and size; but differ in shape, since a catarino chile is oval ending in a spike. They also rattle when dried.
They are sepia-red when dry and somewhat spicier than a cascabel chile.
Both are produced in the North and Central Highlands regions (Zacatecas and Aguascalientes).
Mexicans use these chiles to make sauces with tomatillo or tomato. When they form part of sauces for stews, they are most often combined with other chiles like ancho or guajillo.


Atápakua de ayocotes