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Mexico’s hottest chillies

By | 13 July, 2022 | 0 comments

If you visit Mexico, you won’t want to leave without experiencing one of the most typical experiences in the country: trying the hot chillies.

But be warned, if you don’t like spicy food, when someone says “it’s not hot”, they actually mean that it’s really hot. And if they say, “it’s really hot”, it’s best not to even try it unless you want to eat the spiciest thing you have tasted in your life.

Throughout the country, there is a true passion for spicy food. Everyone eats chilli, from young to old, and everything contains spices, from sweets to food, drinks and even medicines.

If you’re planning a visit to the Riviera Maya, here’s our list of the hottest chillies in Mexico, shown from the mildest to the hottest. You should definitely try them, if you dare!


1. Poblano Peppers

This chilli pepper is highly valued in Mexican gastronomy. It has a very particular flavour and a very mild spice, so it can be used in all kinds of recipes.

Poblano peppers are used in a very typical Mexican dish called Chiles en Nogada. According to the popular story about the origin of the stew, the nuns at the Santa Monica convent in Puebla had to prepare their finest dish to celebrate the birthday of the independence leader Agustín de Iturbide, and the colours of the Mexican flag can be seen in the presentation of the dish.


2. Serrano Chilli

The serrano chilli is one of the mildest hot chillies, so if you are used to spicy chillies, you will find this one mild and pleasant.

Its name comes from the fact that this chilli used to be cultivated in the sierras in the centre of the country. It is generally used in sauces and stews, but you can also eat it raw, although we recommend that you add a little salt to reduce the spiciness if you don’t usually eat spicy food.


3. Chile de Árbol

This chilli is widely used in Mexico and can be found in all the markets in the country.

It is most commonly used in sauces and stews. It is not common to eat it on its own though, and although it is not excessively hot, there are some that will leave you running for a glass of milk. It is advisable to be careful and not to take them lightly.


4. Chiltepín

The chiltepín is also known as the flea chilli, due to its small size. But don’t be fooled, at this point in the list of Mexico’s hottest chillies, we should tread carefully.

It is generally used dried as a condiment, as it adds a spicy touch to food without altering its flavour. A peculiar fact is that in Sonora they use it to cure ailments, such as earaches, coughs, gastritis and even the evil eye.


5. Manzano Chilli

If you’ve made it this far, you should know that the difference in heat compared to the previous chillies is enormous. This chilli is usually eaten fresh, as it is fleshy and rivals the habanero chilli in terms of spice intensity.

There are two varieties, those that turn from green to yellow and those that ripen to red tones, which is why its name comes from the Spanish for apple tree (manzano). Some people claim that the more yellow the chilli, the hotter it is. You can find it raw, in pickles, marinades, or simply served with sliced onion and tacos.


6. Habanero Chilli

Finally, we have the habanero chilli, the hottest chilli in Mexico, worthy of respect even among those who eat it regularly.

Originally from the Yucatan peninsula, it is the most commonly used hot pepper in Mexican cuisine, and surprisingly, it has been proven that it does not cause gastritis.

It is very versatile, so you can eat it on its own (yes, there are some brave people who do), in a sauce or in a dish.

If you’re visiting Riviera Maya, we recommend that you are very careful before trying a sauce without asking for the ingredients, as it is very likely to be made from habanero chillies. Believe us, even those who love spicy food should think carefully before trying it!


Do you dare try one? If you visit one of the restaurants at our Princess hotels in Playa del Carmen, we’ll be happy to help you experience this Mexican culinary adventure.

Let us know which one you would like to try.

Categories: Caribbean, Gastronomy, Riviera Maya

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