The Chimayo pepper is a pepper landrace of the species Capsicum annuum. It is named after the town of Chimayo, New Mexico, where roughly 500 acres (2.0 km2) of Chimayo peppers are harvested annually. It is considered one of the two best chilis in the state, the other being those grown in Hatch. The pepper is so prized that powdered chimayó pepper can cost as much as $45.
|Scoville scale||4,000–6,000 SHU|
The arid climate of the town of Chimayo greatly influences the appearance of the Chimayo pepper, giving it a twisted shape when dried. Its color can be compared to that of the Jalapeño, transitioning from green to red as the fruit matures. Chimayo peppers are of medium pungency, and have a heat level ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 on the Scoville scale. Chimayo pepper plants typically grow to a height of roughly 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 cm), while the fruits reach 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) in length and 1–1.75 inches (2.5–4.4 cm) wide.
Chimayo peppers are commonly dried by being hung on ristras; once dried, they can be ground into chili powder or chili flakes. The flavor is described as sweet, earthy, and smoky, without being too hot, and the fruit is also fleshier and drier The pepper can also be used fresh for salsas, stir-frys, roasted, or stuffed.
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