Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Taste report; Chile de Agua

I have asked several seed suppliers if they had an outstanding chili, one that is head and shoulders above the rest, or out of the ordinary. Well I did get more than a few from several suppliers and loads of friends and got asked to write a review when tasted.

One of the ones was the Chili de Aqua, a fairly unknown chili from Mexico. The Chile de Agua is a local chili from the valley of Oaxaca, grown year round. The plant is a normal green plant with white flowers, and makes green peppers that slowly go from green to orange to red. They are not at all uniform, and vary in size and shape a lot. I had one that even almost looked like a banana, but most of them look like tapered peppers.

A small one to taste

Now this chili really is a Heirloom chili, or should I say chile, anyway it is a Heirloom. As it seems it is also an endangered variety as what I have heard as the local growers are more and more starting to plant the guajillos. The Chile de Agua is only grown in this little valley, and are therefore expensive, people tend to start buying the guajillos chili. So its reputation and its exclusivity ( read price ) is the killer for this variety.
Now Dylan & Rachel from Dilly's Chilis Seeds got a hold of this chili, and gave some seeds to me too. Dylan & Rachel are about growing and keeping exotic and rare chillies, I don’t know if they are in it to keep Heirloom sorts safe and taken care off. But in this case they sure do, as they sell the seeds now for everyone to try. You can order them here.

This chili is about 2.5 to 3 cm wide at the top, and about 10 cm long in total. So, tasting he. The skin is rather hard, the colour good, and contains just a little amount of seeds. It is a thin walled chile with a good amount of flavor while cutting it open. I tasted it between the seed lists, and it tastes like good quality bell pepper full of taste. It is sweet with a little sour, a good amount of herb and little fruit tones in it. The smell is of herbs, strong herbs and would be brilliant in a stew or goulash. There is no heati in the flesh between the ribs, so getting sloppy I bit in a good piece of seedlist. My goodness me, for crying outloud, that is bloody stinking hot. When do I ever learn?
What the other meat is missing, the seedlists are full off. In total it is a hot chilli or chile in this case. The seedlist has a little bitter in it, making the palate complete. I think this chilli would make a super good and hot paprika powder.
The inners of a small one

In Mexico this chili is used in fresh and cooked sauces, but and very popular is char-roasted ( asado ), peeled and then stuffed with a picadillo, shredded cheese or meat filling, or cut into strips and used in a relish. Chile de Agua is also used ripened and dried, but less and less now, since they have been replaced by guajillos, which are less expensive.

Yours sincerely,

Bart J. Meijer


  1. I should stop reading your blog.
    Most of the time I either get hungry or I start drooling!

    Very nice and clear description.


  2. great review and an interesting pepper. thanks!