A Look at Guatemalan Chiles

The Chile Pasa and Chile Guajillo are two of the most commonly used chile peppers in Guatemala. Both are found in the country’s famous Pepian stew, as well as sauces for Guatemalan tamales.

Chile Pasa

The Pasilla pepper is the dried form of the Chilaca chile. The peppers are often used in sauces, producing a flavorful taste of berry, raisin, cocoa, and smoky overtones. Beware, often times in the United States, the Pasilla or “little raisin” is incorrectly used to describe the Poblano pepper, of which the dried form is properly called an Ancho Chile.

Chile Guajillo

 These moderately hot chiles are smooth, shiny, and reddish-brown. Four to six inches long, Guajillo chiles are a variety of chili of the species Capsicum annuum.Guajillos have a sweet heat with a hint of pine. The Guajillo, pronounced gwah-HEE-yoh, means "little gourd" for the rattling sound the seeds make in the dried pods. In certain parts of the world, you may also find these chiles under the name Chile Guaque.