Manzano Chili Pepper

The Manzano Chili Pepper (the apple chili) is Native to the Andes and grown in parts of Mexico.  Only makes sense that I found it at one of the largest Mexican Supermarket Chains in N.California, Chavez Supermarket

When I saw it, I immediately asked one of the produce guys if it was good?  Was it hot?  What is it used for in Mexico?  He just said, "Good, not hot!"  Ok well regardless it's new to me and I was getting some to experiment with.  Actually I had stopped by there to pick up some items for a Cuban dinner was making but was sidetracked by these little round guys.  

They were around $6.48 per pound and three cost me a bit over $3.00.  Hence they are about 1.5 times the size of a golf ball and somewhat heavier than other chili's.  When I got home and cut one open, was amazed.  The flesh is thick and give's off a bit of a fruity scent.  The black seeds inside are a beautiful contrast to the orange hue of the chili's.  However the seeds are not attached to the chile.  They are just in there kind of flopping around.  I saved them to dry and send to my Dad to try to grow.  Then I sliced a piece to try it out, a generous slice but should have known better that a produce guy from Mexico's mild is going to be right about my hot level.  And folks, they are spicy.  Now if you like your chili's guarantee if you can find these, you will love them.  I used them in place of the Habanero's for my Cuban beans.  And also it had a hint of orange in that bite that was awesome!

I plan to go back to buy more.  Plan on roasted them and separating 3 each into freezer bags as not sure how long they are in season and with all going on, how much longer can find them at Mexican Supermarkets.  

I also could foresee keeping them whole or halving them like a bell pepper to stuff.  Maybe a ground lamb with herbs mixture.  Goat cheese, quinoa, veggie stuffing.  I mean the possibilities are endless.  All I see on the net are salsa recipes but could definitely utilize it in my Haitian, Cuban, Caribbean dishes.  It's just they are so beautiful, they deserve a grand entrance in whatever recipe you apply them too!!   New major fan of the Manzano Chili.  Remember, life is too short to eat badly!


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