Posts Tagged ‘Chile de arbol’

This is the long overdue review of the Chile de Arbol spice that was featured in the “Some Like it Hot” tasting box from Foodzie (sigh, how I miss the old Foodzie … before all the changes when it was more like Etsy for food artisans).  This isn’t my first time trying the spice, but it’s the first time I’ve taken the time to sit down and compose my thoughts on this rather heated product!  Err… well, what I mean is, this spice has got some HEAT! 

Product Description:

Closely related to the cayenne chilies, it has a tonic, smoky, and grass flavor with acidic heat. The heat level is 7 and the Scoville Heat Unit is 15,000-30,000. This chili powder can be used in soups, stews, and sauces.

Learn more about Whole Spice on their website.

Photo from Whole Spice. Click on the pic to go there.

Taster’s Review:

For the purposes of this review, I sprinkled the Chile de Arbol powder over a couple of fried eggs.  Not a heavy sprinkling, because as I’ve learned from previous tastings of this spice that this does not require a heavy hand to taste it!

The amount of heat that this gives off reminds me of cayenne pepper.  But it also has a smokiness to it that almost reminds me of chipotle.  There’s even a hint of earthiness to this.  If one were to somehow “marry” the flavor of the chipotle and the heat of the cayenne, they’d have something a bit like this ground Chile de Arbol.  And I’m liking that!

I love the dimension of flavor that comes with this Chile de Arbol.  Sure, it’s got some heat, but as long as I don’t go overboard when I sprinkle it on something, it adds just the right amount of kick to my fried eggs, and I’m thinking that I may just have to try adding this to my taco meat the next time I make tacos, and to my chili the next time I make that.  This may even add a compelling dimension to a cup of hot cocoa the next time I’m in the mood for something creamy, rich and with a little bit of bite to it.

My Final Thoughts:

This has a nice amount of heat as long as it’s used with a careful hand, and it adds more than just heat to the dish.  It has a pleasant earthiness to it, and an enjoyable smoky tone that is somewhat reminiscent of the chipotle (just hotter!)  This is something I can see myself keeping in my spice pantry for when I make chili (I’ll be making lots of it in the cooler months ahead) – in fact, I think that this may be replacing the cayenne pepper that I normally keep for when I make chili.  This has about the same heat but will add some other desirable flavor to my pot of chili!

Photo from Foodzie, click on the picture to go there.

Product Description:

This hot, crunchy condiment is a quick and easy way to add flavor to your meal with the combination of garlic, onion and the slightly smoky heat of chile de arbol. Although Mexican in origin, its blend of flavors make Chile Crunch a greart addition to most cuisines, from Italian to Asian. It is delicious directly on meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, pasta and pizza, or in soups, dips and marinades. The possibilities are endless!

Learn more about Chile Colonial on their website.

Tea Suggestion:

When eating this stuff, whether it be as a dip on crackers or chips or as an accent to a meat dish, you will not just want, but NEED, a tall glass of iced tea nearby.  I suppose just about any tea that you like iced will do.  I found myself enjoying a glass of iced Moroccan Mint from Tiger Spring Tea while eating this as a topper on my roasted chicken breast.  The crisp, cool taste of mint was quite a refresher to my palate which was searing from the heat of this salsa.

What I Think:

I can see why Rob and Emily at Foodzie love this stuff so much (so much that they created a tasting box around it!)  It is addicting.

But… make no mistake.  This stuff is HOT!  You’d think that the heat would be unbearable, as I tears are running down my cheeks and I am literally sweating while I eat this stuff, but I can’t seem to stop eating it even though my mouth is on fire.  I keep adding more fuel to it as it becomes some out-0f-control inferno!

I don’t know what it is about this.  Is it the heat?  Or the crunch?  Or the fact that even though it is hot, I taste the fruit notes of the chile de arbol and the hint of sweetness from the onion, and the intensity of the garlic.  It just tastes so darn good!

I first tasted these as a salsa dip for tortilla chips, and it was delicious.  So good that I finished the bag of chips before I was ready to be finished tasting it.  So, I promptly heated a couple of flour tortillas under the broiler, getting them just slightly browned and soft, and I started spooning the Chile Crunch onto a bit of tortilla, and rolling it up like a mini burrito which contained nothing but the Chile Crunch and the tortilla itself.

The next time I tried it, I purchased a box of Nabisco’s Garden Vegetable Wheat Thins to accompany it.  YUM!  Then, I actually visited the Foodzie website to read more about this, and it suggests to

Think of this salsa less as a chip-dipper and more as a condiment for meats, grains, pasta or even a refreshing tomato granita.

OK.  So, before finally writing a review of this stuff, I decided to take Foodzie’s advice and use it as a condiment for some left-over chicken breasts.  I had a couple of left over chicken breasts from dinner the other night, simply roasted with a little Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and a light sprinkling of another favorite Foodzie product of mine:  Bourbon Smoked Paprika.  I seem to be using this paprika on just about everything these days.  The chicken was delicious, and since I was pretty much dining on my own last night, I decided to warm one up for my dinner, and I topped it with a bit of this Chile Crunch.  Wow!  It turned a simple, rather humble chicken breast into something that was a bit like firecrackers going off in my mouth!  The crunch, the heat, the amazing flavor!  Wow!

My Final Thoughts:

Left-over chicken will never be boring again as long as I have some of this stuff on hand!  It is really tasty, although, again, this stuff is NOT for wimps.  If you find yourself cowering at mild taco sauce from the fast-food taco joint, don’t even think of trying this stuff.  If, however, you like things on the spicy side… this stuff will amaze and delight you!