It is okay to wonder and be curious about where to buy dried ancho chiles because of how unique these peppers are! There are so many uses that you can find for dried ancho chiles. They are delicious and a true part of traditional and authentic Mexican cuisine.
There are many reasons why someone would dry ancho chiles or buy them! These peppers simply last longer and are well preserved. While eating fresh peppers is recommended, they do not last forever and are susceptible to mold and rotting because of the moisture inside of the pepper.
What Are Dried Ancho Chiles?
So, what exactly are dried ancho chiles? Before we can ask ourselves where to buy dried ancho chiles, it is best to understand what these peppers actually are. Contrary to a popular misconception, there is no ancho chili pepper.
Instead, these peppers are actually just poblano peppers that have undergone an intense drying process. Poblano peppers are thick and full of flavor. They are one of the most common types of peppers used in authentic Mexican cuisine because of their milk flavor and large size.
You can easily fry this pepper or stuff it with meat and cheese! But, what is the purpose of dried ancho chiles? Why ask yourself where to buy dried ancho chiles? The answer is simple, when you dry these peppers, they take on a different flavor. You see, unripen poblano peppers are green.
However, the riper a poblano pepper is, the more red and purple it becomes. Eventually, it turns a dark purple shade that is close to black. Once this is that ripe, you can start to cook and dry the pepper.
What To Make With Ancho Chiles?
There are so many dishes that call for these delicious chiles! since they have been dehydrated and they are dried peppers, they have an almost smoked taste and texture. When looking for where to buy dried ancho chiles, it is best to come up with a unique recipe first.
Once there is a recipe, you will know the size of the ancho Chile peppers you are looking for as well as any additional ingredients. I personally like making soups and stews out of Ancho chiles. It is easy as all you have to do is add the dehydrated ancho chiles in a pot of water for five to twenty minutes.
After the pot of water boils and lets out steam, the once dried ancho Chile peppers should spring back to life. Most of the time though, people turn these chiles into a fine powder or a thick hot sauce that can be sprinkled onto tacos and enchiladas.
Where To Buy Dried Ancho Chiles
There are many places where you can buy and find dried ancho chiles. Although it is not bad to try your local grocery store, if they do not have a Latin American or Mexican section, it is unlikely that they serve or have these peppers.
While some other cultures do use ancho chiles, they are more common in Mexican and Mexican American households.
1. Latin American Grocery Stores
When wondering where to buy dried ancho chiles, you should start by looking in Latin American grocery stores. These stores include Bravo, Sedanos, and Fiesta! These stores are specifically for Latin American people and have brands you won’t find elsewhere. These peppers can be costly though as they are hard to find.
Usually, these peppers will be found in the seasonings and condiments section. There will be a large array of peppers in plastic bags that are dried. Look for the darkest ancho chiles, these are the ripest. However, if you need to, look for where to buy dried ancho chiles with long peppers. It is harder to cook with small peppers.
2. Farmers Markets
Sometimes, if you live in an area where it is easy to grow poblano peppers and allow them to dry with the sun, your local farmers market will have them for sale and they are typically homemade! This may be a long shot, but it is worth a try when looking for where to buy dried ancho chiles.
Farmers markets often have ethnic foods as well as food trucks that come in for the event. If you feel comfortable, you can ask the owners of the food truck if they use ancho chiles and where to find them in the area. Sometimes word of mouth is the best!
3. Small Corner Shops
Small corner shops in Hispanic dominated areas tend to have spices, seasonings, and peppers towards the front. This completely depends on where you live though! If you are lucky enough to have a small corner shop or stop, I recommend looking there first, if you cannot find it at the grocery store.
Making Your Own Dried Ancho Chiles
Instead of searching for where to buy dried ancho chiles, you can also make your own. Surprisingly, it does not take long to figure out how to make your own, especially if you have the right tools and the time to complete the task.
If you have the time and don’t want to search for where to buy dried ancho chiles, you can grow your own and dehydrate them. When growing poblano peppers, wait for the peppers to ripen on the plant. Don’t pick them when they are still green. While you can do this, it takes longer to ripen outside of the plant.
If you do accidentally pick the peppers too quickly, place them in a large paper brown bag and store them in a dark place for up to one week. You will notice a massive difference in the outer color as it ripens to a deep violet.
All in all, looking for where to buy dried ancho chiles can be difficult, but not impossible. I hope this article gives you insight on this unique and special pepper, while also providing the answer to where to buy dried ancho chiles.
If you have learned anything new and see that this information is valuable, don’t be afraid to share this blog with your friends!
Where can I find ancho chilies?
You can find ancho chilies in various places, however, it is best to search in a Latin American grocery store as there are many options!
What can I substitue for Dried Ancho Chilies?
I have always used long Jalapeno peppers because they have the same size and mild flavors.
What are dried ancho chiles called?
Two nickname for these delicious ancho peppers are 'ancho' and 'dried poblano peppers'.