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.
Chile de árbol
belongs to this species, and is also known as a chile alfilerillo, bravo, cola de rata, pico de paloma
is elongated and thin, and can measure up to 7 centimeters; is green in color when fresh, and red when ripe; dried it is called chile de árbol seco
. Both when fresh and dried, they are extremely spicy, making them ideal for both raw and cooked salsas, and as an ingredient in antojitos
, soups and stews. They are almost always used without removing seeds or veins.
name chile de árbol
—“tree chile”—does not mean they grow on trees; the height of the shrub that bears them is simply larger than that of other related species. Chile de árbol
production and consumption is concentrated in the northern highlands (Chihuahua and Nuevo León) as well as throughout the Central Highlands, and the Central Pacific region (Nayarit).