In a nutshell: Rare Pasilla de Oaxaca chilli pepper is smoked, moderately hot, with a fruity, liquorice flavour ideal for Mexican moles and salsas, soups and stews.
The rare Pasilla de Oaxaca chilli pepper is smoked, moderately hot, with fruity, sometimes liquorice-like notes. Unlike the more common pasilla pepper, Pasilla de Oaxaca offers unrivaled smoky flavour. Dark red verging on black: it is sometimes called chilli negro. Roasted and flaked, it can be used sprinkled as a finishing spice. Pasilla peppers are traditionally found in Oaxacan and Poblano moles and salsas. Their use ranges far beyond traditional Mexican recipes and they add an exciting hint of smoke to soups, stews, rice and salads. Pasilla peppers are sometimes incorrectly labeled as poblano. Dried poblanos are called ancho chilies, and there is, in fact, a noticeable pasilla versus poblano flavour difference: pasillas, made from dried chilacas, tend to be hotter and sweeter. Our selection of Pasilla de Oaxaca is grown by Mixtec villagers high in the Sierra Mije. Ripened and left to partially dry on the plant, the peppers are then further dried and lightly smoked in a traditional adobe oven, becoming the chile negro. In December, they are transported down the mountain by horseback to begin their long journey to the markets of Oaxaca, Puebla and finally Montreal.
Heat rating 6/10
About Épices de Cru
Épices de Cru began in 1982 as a catering partnership between Philippe and Ethné de Vienne. Their mission was a kind of “cooking pot anthropology:” learning the secrets of family cooking around the world and applying these techniques to the needs of hungry Montrealers. The secret, they learned, was spices. Over the last two decades, Philippe and Ethné have searched for the world’s best spices, accompanied by their children, Marika and Arik. The de Viennes believe in direct sourcing spices: visiting growing regions, spending time with growers, and developing personal relationships that last decades. In 2004, they officially opened their first spice shop in Montreal’s fantastic Jean Talon market– it’s since become a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I first visited in 2008 and have been buying and using their spices on a regular basis ever since that first exciting visit. They steadfastly maintain that they do nothing original, only facilitating the exchange of culinary common sense from one place to another. But, what they do is simply quite brilliant - by providing us with the finest quality ingredients, and their superb spice mixes, we can all experiment with unusual spices and recreate delicious recipes from around the world.