Probably the most familiar pepper in the United States, the green and red bell peppers are squarish and fist-size. Green peppers turn red in the fall, becoming sweeter and milder, yet retaining their crisp, firm texture.
This chile looks and tastes very much like ordinary bell pepper but can be considerably more peppery at times. Tapered rather than square, it is firmer, less crisp, more waxy-looking. It turn a bright red
and sweetens up in the fall. When dry, it assumes a flat, round shape and wrinkles up like a prune.
California Green Chiles (Anaheim).
Fresh, these peppers are 5 to 8 inches long, 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. tapering to a point, usually a bright, shiny green. The flavor ranges from mild and sweet to moderate hot. to use fresh peppers, peel the skin
from the chiles. When using fresh or canned, taste for hotness - they can vary greatly from pepper to pepper.
Bright green, changing to orange and red when fully matured. Fresno chiles have a conical shape - about 2 inches long and 1 inch in diameter at the stem end. They are often just labeled "hot chile peppers"
when canned or bottled.
These peppers have thicker flesh, darker green color , and more cylindrical shape than Fresno chiles;
however, the heat level of the two varieties is about the same - HOT! Canned and bottled peppers are sometimes labeled "hot peppers with jalapeņo as a subtitle. They are always available in sauce form as
salsa jalapeņa, and pickled.
The true pasilla is a long, thin pepper 7 to 12 inches long by 1 inch in diameter. Pasillas turn from dark green to dark brown as they mature.
These heart-shaped chiles are purchased canned in the United States. The flesh is softer and a little sweeter than the common red bell pepper.
Dynamite-hot is an understatement for these tiny 1-inch peppers. When new on the vine, they are rich, waxy green, changing to orange and red as they mature. They also sold canned, pickled, or packed in oil.
Small, whole, red dried hot chiles.
Labeled this way on the supermarket spice shelves, many small, tapered chiles about 1 to 2 inches long
are sold dried, but there is no one varietal name that applies to all of them.
Many short conical-shaped yellow peppers with a waxy sheen go by this name-Santa Fe grande, caribe,
banana pepper, Hungarian, Armenian way, floral gem,and gold spike. Probably most familiar are the canned pickled wax peppers. Their flavor ranges from medium-hot to hot.
To date these are the Hottest chiles know to man, HOT - HOT - HOT. Use extreme caution when using. Marble-shaped chile, ranges in color from unripe green to full ripe red.
USE CAUTION IN HANDLING AND STORING CHILES
When using fresh or dried chile peppers, wear gloves to protect your hands because the oils, capsaicin*, in the peppers can cause severe burns. Don't touch your face or eyes.
If chiles do come in contact with your bare hands, wash thoroughly with soapy water. When grinding dried chiles beware of the the chile dust in the air which will irritate eyes and throats.
TO DRY YOUR OWN CHILES
Tie the stems onto a sturdy piece of twine, placing chiles close together and making the strand as long as you wish. Hang in dry area with the air circulating freely around the strand.
In several weeks, chiles lose their brilliant hue, changing to a deep, glistening red; they will feel smooth and dry.
*Capsaicin is the heat factor in chiles that is used medically to produce deep-heating rubs for treating
sports injuries and arthritic therapies.