Puya Chiles (pronounced "POO-yuh"), Capsicum annuum, are also called chile puya, chile pulla, or puya peppers.
There are approximately 15-18 Puya Chiles per ounce.
What are Puya Chiles
Puya chiles are popular in Mexico City and in central Mexican cuisine. Puya Chiles have been the center of a spirited debate among passionate chile heads in determining if it is a hybrid of the de Arbol chile or the Guajillo chile. We fall in the camp of it being related to the Guajillo.
These chiles possess a fruitier flavor than most other chile peppers, they are ideal to be diced, pureed or mashed and then made into a sauce. Puya chiles are slightly curved and elongated while tapering to a point. 3”-4" in length, these thin red peppers ripen to a deep crimson to purplish color and are a bit translucent.
History of Puya Chiles
Chile peppers have been consumed in Mexico for thousands of years. In 2006 and 2007 one of the largest studies of chile peppers was conducted throughout Mexico and the southern United States sampling the most complete set of wild C. Annuum chiles by focusing on 139 wild types as well as 49 domesticated landrace chiles (ancho, guajillo and puya). Landrace chiles are a locally adapted, traditional variety of chile that has developed over time, through adaptation to its natural environment. Landrace chiles may be similar (or closely related) to other chiles from a specific region.
The resulting model established that northeast Mexico and central-east Mexico have the highest likelihood of being the origin of the domestication of C. Annuum chile peppers. Prior to that time chiles would have been wild harvested. Domestication is the breeding of specific traits of chiles (i.e. flavor, spiciness, size, etc). In this region of Mexico there are currently fairly large populations of wild chiles that are genetically similar to domesticated Puya Chiles.
Puya Chile Cultivation
Unlike many other Mexican chiles the Puya Chile is the called the same whether in its fresh or dried state. These plants can reach a height of five feet and each plant can produce dozens of peppers. These chiles mature from green to a deep reddish crimson color. Total maturation time is approximately 100 days. These chiles are commercially grown in the central valley of Mexico, (the Mexico City region) and may also be grown in China, Peru or the US.
Where are Our Puya Chiles From?
What do Puya Chiles Taste Like
Puya Chiles have a light, fruity flavor profile, with licorice and cherry undertones that brings to mind wild berries.
Are Puya Chiles Hot
These chiles are considered a medium heat chile and come it at 5,000 to 8,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units).
How do You Use Puya Chile
Puya chiles are a favorite substitute to Guajillo chiles by chefs in high end Mexican restaurants who are looking to add a bit more spicy heat and fruity notes to a dish. The Puya Chile is a popular chile in central Mexican cuisine and used to flavor chicken, fish, pork or veal. Also adds delightful flavor to breakfast burritos, casseroles, chutneys, cooked vegetables, dips, enchiladas, pizza, salsas, sauces, soups and stews.
To rehydrate your Puya chiles soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes (but not any longer as they will become bitter) and then either dice them or puree them in a food processor before adding to your recipe.
Like most chiles we use we like to bring out even more intense flavor by dry roasting or toasting them in the oven first. You can toast them in a hot skillet for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat or stick in a pre-heated 250° oven on a warm sheet for 3-4 minutes.
Puya Chile Substitution
The best substitute for puya chile is the guajillo chile. The flavor is similar but the guajillo is not quite as hot.
Use 1 teaspoon guajillo powder per 3-4 puya chiles called for in any recipe.
|Also Called||Chile puya, chile pulla, or puya peppers|
|Recommended Uses||Use in breakfast burritos, casseroles, chutneys, cooked vegetables, dips, enchiladas, pizza, salsas, sauces, soups and stews|
|Flavor Profile||A light, fruity flavor profile, with licorice and cherry undertones that brings to mind wild berries|
|Scoville Heat Units||5,000 - 8,000 SHU|
|Botanical Name||Capsicum annuum|
|How To Store||Airtight container in a cool, dark place|
|Shelf Life||1-2 Years|
|Country of Origin||Mexico|
|Dietary Preferences||Gluten Free, Kosher, Non-GMO|
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Serving Size1 chile, 1.5g
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*