Chilhuacle chiles ("old chile" in Nahuatl) is a variety of chile belonging to the Capsicum annuum family. It is a type of chile linked mainly with the gastronomy of Oaxaca, in fact, it is the star ingredient in the production of black, yellow and red mole.
There are three varieties of chilhuacle chiles: the black chilhuacle, the red chilhuacle and the yellow chilhuacle.
The Black Chilhuacle is a chili that attracts attention because of its color (dark brown) and its surprising flavor with different tones: it is a slightly spicy chili, whose flavor displays hints of chocolate, tobacco and smoky nuances. It´s use in Mexican cuisine is present in the preparation of black mole, sauces, and fillings.
For its part, the Red Chilhuacle is dark red with black tones. It stands out for being a chile with light spicy touches. It is one of the most used and with more tradition in the region, mainly in the production of red mole.
Finally, the Yellow Chilhuacle, varies from yellow to orange and it´s used in the preparation of yellow mole.
Although Chilhuacle is a product rooted in the culture and gastronomic tradition of Oaxaca, in recent years its cultivation has declined significantly due to its high production costs and that it is only grown in very small territories. At present, national reference chefs such as Ricardo Muñoz Zurita or Enrique Olvera are working to prevent it´s disappearance.