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Red Gold of Sonora

The Chiltepin Pepper has a rich history in Native American culture. Its tiny size and intense heat makes it unique. "Chiltepin" or "Chile del Monte" delicately adds spiciness to any dishes without causing them to lose their original aroma and taste.

Story and value

In Mexican State "Sonora" people says that "We may have no meat, but we must to have a chiltepin pepper". And that is true, in Sonora absolutely everyone has this pepper in despite to their financial situatuion and social status. Chiltepin could be eaten with seafood, bean tacos or gourmet pieces of beef. It's suitable to any dishes.

Chiltepin is well-known as "Sonora's red gold" because of its price can go up to over 1500$ Mexican pesos per kg, a peso for each chili pepper. Since its taste is unique and unparalleled, it seems that all sonorians should be millionaires.The quality of Chiltepin is very important. Peppercorns should be dark-red or bright-red, whole, without any spots and perfectly round.



The scientists distinguish chiltepin as the "Capsicum annuum", the variety of "Glabriusculum", but there is many of contradictions, as there are those, who think that this variety is related to other varieties. The same thing happens with the names that people give to chiltepin in other regions where it grows. Also chiltepin pepper is known as: chile piquín, chiltepec, chiltepillo, chilpaya, chile de monte, pico de ave, pico de paloma, pájaro pequeño, chile mosquito or diente de tlacuache. A wide variety of names is due to the fact that these peppers grow from the southern United States to the nothern part of South America, so, in Mexico, in can be found in all the coastal areas. All the same, it is clear that all this peppers are different, and we can make sure ourselves of that because of the scientific researches and local names of chiltepin. For example, chiltepin from Sinaloa state have an other taste. Generally, all of them are small wild peppers, red, spicy and beautiful, but they are very different.

One of the most interesting details about this plant is the fact that is cannot be cultivated in a civilized way. Although it can be obtained by growing seedlings, these peppers will have an other taste that doesn't please experts, they say that for proper germination a birds have to eat the chiltepin pepper and through their feces the seeds have to spread through the deserts of Sonora.


The harvest time usually falls on the month of October, and although its main purpose is food, it have various uses in traditional medicine, and also could be used in ceremonies of Mexican indigenous groups of mountain residents. Usually Sonorense harvest chiltepin when it is not ripe yet and then make it dry. Frequently it is the part or family gardens.

Heat and taste

The chiltepin's heat is unique if compare it to other peppers. It doesn't come hotter and hotter, just acts immediately, instantly. Be careful if you ever have the opportunity to put a few of these peppers in your mouth. One chiltepin pepper could be 40 times hotter than the standart jalapeno pepper. You can only put just a few chiltepin peppers on a standard-sized coin.



Also we have "Chiltepineros", it is a local handmaded mortar for chiltepin pepper made of very heavy wood of Olney's iron tree in the shapes of various figures. These mortars have a hole in the upper part where you have to put some peppercorns and grind them all with a pestle. Then you can sprinkle your dish.


Chiltepin's plant is a bush with a diameter of just over a meter. Its flowers are white, and the fruits are round "berries" with a diameter of 4 to 6 millimeters. Initially this "berries" are green, also can be black while growing, but when they come ripe acquire an intense red color. Chiltepin pepper could be eaten while it is green and fresh, and also it could be used for making different sauces. It is the best option for vegetable marinades, pickled vegetables and canned pickles. There are many various types of sauces: very complex that are packed in jars, or just homemade grated in a mortar. 


Typical dishes of the state of Sonora are Machaka, cheese broth, Sonora-styled stew, Pozole, colored chicken, beans, fried meat, various kinds of fish and seafood, as well as tacos, burritos and chivichangs. It is impossible to think of any of these dishes without chiltepin pepper accompaniment. Chiltepin is very good with any types of pizza.

We recommend you to buy the real Chiltepin pepper from Sonora because it worth that!

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