3 Key Types Of Chile Powder You May Find Seasoning Your Food At An Authentic Mexican Restaurant


If you have decided to eat at an authentic Mexican restaurant, you may be uncertain about the types of seasonings go into some dishes. If so, below is a brief explanation of three key types of chile powders you may find on the menu.

Basic Mild Or Hot Chile Powder

The basic chile powder you may find seasoning items on the menu is a blend of several herbs and spices. Along with powdered dried chiles, oregano and cumin are usually added to the mixture. The powder can be mild or hot, depending on the amount of dried chiles used. The more chiles added to the seasoning, the hotter it will taste.

Chile powder is often used as the go-to seasoning for chicken and steak. It is often also found seasoning burritos and quesadillas, as well as basic chip salsa. 

Smoky Chipotle Chile Powder

Chipotle chile powder is simply made from smoked, dried jalopeno peppers. While this powder has only recently become popular outside of Mexico, it has been a staple for use in its native country for many years.

Unlike basic chile powder or raw jalopeno peppers, chipotle has a mild flavor. This is attributed to the smoking process while drying out the peppers.

This chile powder is most often used in meat marinades, particularly in beef recipes. It is also the main ingredient in Adobo, a popular powdered marinade and rub used for both beef and vegetables.

Sweet, Fruity Ancho Chile Powder

Ancho chile powder is made from dried powdered ancho chiles. Unlike most chiles that have a heated flavor, ancho chiles have a sweetness to them. When processed properly, they also have a mild fruity flavor that surprises the taste buds, especially if you are expecting hot, spicy food at the restaurant in which you are eating.

Ancho powder is often used as a rub for meats. It can be used on beef, poultry, or fish. The hint of fruitiness in the peppers helps bring out the natural flavors of the meats it is used on. It is sometimes complemented with cinnamon in dishes.

While there are other types of seasonings used when preparing authentic Mexican food, the blends listed above are three of the basic types of chile powders you typically find. If you have any questions about other spices or blends, you may want to speak with the server at the Mexican restaurant you are visiting.  


13 December 2016

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