These small torpedo-shaped peppers are primarily consumed fresh, usually in salsas but also for flavoring stews, casseroles and egg dishes. Serranos are very hot and are typically sold in their mature green state, although they are also sometimes available when red.
Chiltepin, also called chile tepin, is a wild chili pepper that grows in parts of Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. It is sometimes called the “mother of all peppers,” because it is thought to be the oldest form in the Capsicum annuum species.The Wild Chile Botanical Area in the Coronado National Forest near Tucson, Arizona, has the largest population of chiltepin peppers north of Mexico. This pepper is also the state native pepper of Texas. Tepin peppers, nicknamed “bird’s eye” peppers, rank high in heat level. Some chile enthusiasts argue that the Tepin is hotter than the habanero or Red Savina habañero pepper. This pepper is round or slightly oval and about 3/8 inch in width. “Tepin” comes from the Nahuatl Mexican word meaning “flea” because of its smallness. In 1995, Texans named the Jalapeño pepper the official pepper of the state of Texas, but just two years later, the Tepin took reign as the official native pepper of Texas.Tepins can be extremely hot, measuring between 100,000 and 250,000 Scoville Units. In Mexico, the heat of the Chiltepine is called arrebatado (“rapid” or “violent”), which implies that although the heat is intense, it diminishes quickly.
It is often described as having a smokey, ‘raisin-like’ taste, used in mushroom sauces, and eggplant. It’s less spicy than many other chile peppers, but provides a more lasting build of heat. Traditionally used in meat dishes but try it sprinkled on steamed vegetables for an added kick. Because of its fruity overtones, it is becoming popular in to use in sweet
dishes in North America.