Chile cascabel, pronounced [kahs-kah-BEL], are bright to dark red large round chiles. The chile (also know as chile bola) means "rattle" and the name refers to the shape of the chile as well as the sound the seeds make when a dried chile is shaken.
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The cascabel chile is deep red to brownish in color and when mature is about 1 1/2" in diameter. The chile is moderately hot (it is a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10) and have a nutty flavor with a rich tannic and slightly smoky nuance but not an excessive amount of heat. The chile is grown in many states in Mexico including Coahuila, Durango, Guerrero and Jalisco.
Typically the the chile is toasted on a comal then used in salsas, sauces, soups and stews. Cascabel has a sweet flavor that pairs well with any meat, chicken or fish.
Cascabels are available dried whole, powdered and sometimes pureed. See the where to buy section for purchasing information. Cascabel Powder
Cascabel powder is very hard to find. Given the small size of the chile compared to the waste (seeds, veins, stem) it tit is costly to produce. This is simply the dried whole chili, ground up into a fine powder. Use as you would any chili powder for a nutty smoky flavor. We do carry cascabel powder at GourmetSleuth.com. Cascabel Chiles, Whole
The most commonly sold form of this chile is whole, dried. The chile can be toasted then ground, or hydrated and made it a sauce or paste. Cascabel Chili Paste (Puree)
Chiles can be hydrated and blended into a paste. The paste will last for several months refrigerated and stored in a tightly sealed jar. Cascabel Sauce
A type of mole sauce made from cascabel chiles. The sauce can be used with any meat, chicken or for making enchiladas or tacos.