Pasilla pepper, also known as Chile Negro, is the dried form of the pepper chilaca. It is so named because of its rough and wrinkled skin usually brownish black in color. The chili in its fresh form is very long, measuring about 9 inches in length, and has a rich flavor. When young this chili pepper is dark green in color, quite unique and very appealing. Pasilla is widely used in cooking for making fruit salads and by adding to other foods like honey, garlic, and oregano. The peppers are available on the market in whole or powdered form for culinary uses. They are particularly used for making hot sauces with a rich texture and color.
Pasilla means “little raisin” and the pepper is sometimes confused with the ancho. The ancho is also a dried chili form but derived from some other pepper. The smoky taste of these chilies is well-liked among chili lovers. On the Scoville Scale, pasilla chilies show a rating between 1,000 to 2,500 heat units. This implies that the peppers have mild heat level and are easy to tolerate even by those who are not very fond of spicy foods. Sauces made from these chilies are also less hot and excellent for making moderately hot dishes.