Pequins are often associated with the wild cuisine from the mountain ranges of northern Mexico, known as Tepin or Chiltepin. Actually Pequins are the cultivated form. Pequin Chilli translates from Spanish pequeno to “tiny chilli” and one knows the smaller the chilli it is in size the larger it is in heat! Pequins are considered as hot chilli and these come in at 30,000 to 60,000 scoville.
The flavor profile of the Pequin chilli is citrusy and nutty with a hint of smokiness. Also known as “bird pepper” this is a favorite of many bird species who enjoy the fruity flavor and are immune to the heat.
Native to Mexico there are several varieties of this chilli some are conical and others round.. Do not confuse Pequin Chilli with the similar looking African Bird’s Eye Chile These are not the same as the Pequin comes from the chilli family Capsicum annuum while the African Bird’s Eye from the family Capsicum frutescens
Green chiles are often picked and pickled while the more mature turn red and are then dried. There are many chile foodies who believe this is one of those chilli that’s more flavorful dried than fresh as the drying process tends to really bring out the flavor.
Pequin Chiles are a common ingredient in liquid hot pepper seasonings and with their rich flavor they add a fiery zest to beans, sauces, soups and stews. Easily crush the dried chiles and sprinkle on bean and rice dishes, homemade salsas and any number of Latin dishes in need of some spicy, tangy flavor. Add 1 or 2 to your Mexican Moles.
Toast and then rehydrate your Pequin Chiles and you can make a zesty puree with a delightful earthy flavor with hints of roasted peanuts.