Chile de árbol
|Fresh mature chile de árbol peppers|
The Chile de árbol (Spanish for tree chili) is a small and potent Mexican chili pepper also known as bird’s beak chile and rat’s tail chile. These chilis are about 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) long, and 1⁄4 to 3⁄8 inch (0.64 to 0.95 cm) in diameter. Their heat index is between 15,000 and 30,000 Scoville units. The peppers are a bright red color when mature. Chile de árbol peppers can be found fresh, dried, or powdered. As dried chiles, they are often used to decorate wreaths because they do not lose their red color after dehydration.
In cooking substitutions, the Chile de árbol pepper can be traded with Cayenne pepper (30,000–50,000 Scoville units) or Pequin pepper (100,000–140,000 Scoville units). The seeds and white arches can be removed from the pepper to tone down its hotness. Care should be taken to avoid touching the eyes after handling this pepper; hands must be washed thoroughly after handling the pepper or its seeds.