pasado chili (literally in Spanish, "chili of the past") is generally a
or other green chili. The way green chilies were
preserved before the invention of canning and freezers was by arranging
the pods into a ristra, or chili string and drying them in the sun. |
Traditional Mexican ristras are made by tying the chilies together in clusters of three. Roast the chili pods on a charcoal burner, turning often, until the pods blister and start to turn black. Remove them from the burner and place on a wet towel for 30 minutes. Remove and carefully peel the skin off, leaving the stem and seeds intact. Wrap the string around the three stems a couple of times, then bring the string up between two of the chilies, and finish off with a half-hitch over the stems. Continue using the same piece of string, tying up groups of three chilies. Place the rista over a line outside in the sun. Drying time varies with humidity levels, but dry them until they are very dark and brittle.
To store, break off the stems and place the dried pods in a plastic bag and then place in a second plastic bag.
To reconstitute the pods, place them in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let stand for five minutes. Remove from the water and drain.
To make a 1.0 metre ristra will require around 7 kilogrammes of fresh pods. This is the oldest and also the most attractive method, and it is still customary in many chile-producing countries.
The pasado chili (anaheim) records between 500 and 2,500 Shu's on the Scoville scale.