1,000-3,000 Scovilles. The Cascabel Chile is grown in several areas of Mexico. It is small and round, 2-3 cm in diameter, and matures to a deep red. It is also called Chile Bola, meaning ball chile in Spanish. When dried, it turns to a dark brownish red, and the seeds become loose and rattle inside the chile. This is the reason for the name Cascabel, which means little bell or sleigh bell in Spanish. With a mild to moderate heat level, the Cascabel is perfect for adding a touch of heat to soups, salsas, stews, and sauces.
NOTE: This pepper is not to be confused with the Cascabellw Pepper, which is a different type of pepper.
Mexico is well-known for its chili pepper varieties– both fresh and dried. Mexican dishes utilize all kinds of peppers in all kinds of regional dishes. Of course, chili peppers are a way of life in Mexico, providing flavor and sustenance, but also general cultural inspiration, the pepper is an “art” form in Mexico.
One such famous pepper from Mexico is the popular Cascabel Pepper. The name “cascabel” means “little bell” or “sleigh bell” or “rattle” in Spanish, because of the dried pods’ distinctive rattling sounds from the seeds within, which come lose from shaking them.
They are also known by other names, including “chile bola”, which means “ball chili” in Spanish, the “rattle chile” for the distinctive rattling sounds of the dried pods, or guajones.
The Cascabel Pepper is grown in several areas of Mexico. Interestingly, the name “cascabel” applies to both the fresh and dried versions of the peppers, which is rare in Mexico, where most dried chiles have completely different names from their fresh counterparts.
WHAT DOES A CASCABEL PEPPER LOOK LIKE?
Cascabel chiles are small and round, 2-3 cm in diameter. The fresh pods ripen from green to red to deep reddish-brown in color. The fresh pods are plump and round, and rather small. The dried pods retain their overall shape for the most part.
WHAT DOES A CASCABEL PEPPER TASTE LIKE?
The cascabel pepper is characterized by an eary, slightly smoky flavor with notes of nuttiness. With a mild to moderate heat level, the Cascabel is perfect for adding a touch of heat to soups, salsas, stews and sauces. They are mostly consumed dried, and often ground into chili flakes.
HOW HOT IS A CASCABEL PEPPER?
The Cascabel pepper is a mildly hot chili pepper, ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) on the Scoville Scale. Compared to a typical jalapeno pepper, the hottest of cascabel chilies is roughly equal in heat to your average jalapeno. (Source: Chili Pepper Madness).
Cascabel chiles are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain significant levels of thiamine, iron, magnesium, and vitamin C.
Dried peppers like the chile cascabel also contain capsaicin, which is responsible for the spiciness in some peppers.
With so many unique health benefits, one of the more interesting effects of chiles is an increase in metabolic rate. There have even been studies linking chili peppers to weight reduction (WebMD).
Capsaicin also has anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to promote heart health.