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Anaheim Pepper

Also indexed as: New Mexican Pepper

Illustration

Preparation, uses, and tips

The seeds and membranes in chile peppers contain most of the capsaicin, the compound that lends them their mouth-searing qualities. To reduce the chile’s heat, remove its seeds and veins. After working with peppers, be careful not to rub your eyes. (You may want to wear protective gloves while working with hot peppers.)

Fresh Anaheim chiles should be peeled before use. Traditional recipes recommend searing over a gas flame or broiling in the oven until the skins are blackened. Cool in a sealed plastic bag or foil and then remove skins. Both green and red Anaheim peppers are excellent in soups and stews. Anaheim peppers are the chiles most often used to make chile rellenos. For this Mexican dish the peppers are stuffed with cheese and then coated in egg before they are fried.

This is the chile that is most often used to make chile rellenos.

Buying and Storing Tips

Anaheim peppers are available in grocery stores in the produce section. As these peppers mature they turn from green to red. They can be used for cooking at any stage but are most often used when still green. Choose fresh chiles with deep colors, avoiding those that look wrinkled or soft. Store them in a paper bag for a week in the refrigerator or enclose in freezer bags and freeze for up to a year.

Varieties

Anaheim peppers are moderately hot, although their heat depends on where they’re grown and how mature they are. Varieties of the pepper grown in New Mexico tend to be hotter than those grown in California, and the mature red ones tend to be hotter than the green. The Anaheim chile varies from light green to dark green to red and grows to between 6 and 10 inches (15–25cm) long and 1 to 2 inches (2.5–5cm) around.

The hotness of peppers is measured in Scoville heat units, and Anaheims have a heat score that ranges between 500 and 2,500. How high a chile pepper scores on the heat scale is determined by high-performance liquid chromatography measurement of parts per million capsaicin. This figure is then converted into the historic Scoville heat units that signify how much dilution is necessary to drown out the chile’s heat.

Nutrition Highlights

Red chile pepper (hot, raw), 1/2 cup (75g)
Calories: 15
Protein: 0.7g
Carbohydrate: 3.5g
Total Fat: 0.1g
Fiber: 0.6g

*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value, based upon United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the USDA Recommended Daily Value. Nutritional information and daily nutritional guidelines may vary in different countries. Please consult the appropriate organization in your country for specific nutritional values and the recommended daily guidelines.

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