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.
chiles belong to this species, and are generally called chiles verdes. Dr. Janet Long notes that in certain regions they may be known as serranito, balín, corriente or criollo
, chiles, etc.
may come from the fact that these chiles are mostly grown in hilly zones called sierras
are cylindrical and/or conical and elongated; small in size (3-6 cm); and when fresh their color ranges from green to dark green. They redden as they ripen and are intensely spicy.
Serrano production and consumption centers in the Northern Highlands (Chihuahua being their largest producer), the Central Highlands, the Gulf and the Central Pacific (Nayarit and Jalisco).
Prime season extends from February to April and August to October.
Fresh serranos, with or without seeds, are chopped or ground for martajada-style salsas that go with antojitos and certain meat dishes; roasted, boiled, ground or prepared martajado-style, they are an ingredient in salsas, light moles or as a base for chileatoles; fried, they are known as toreado chiles; whole or sliced, they are prepared with escabeche marinade or in vinegar for industrial or home canning as a means of extending their use life.