An indispensable ingredient
for traditional Mexican mole
sauces, the ancho can also be reconstituted and stuffed
. This chile has mild fruit flavor
with tones of coffee, liquorice, tobacco, dried plum, and raisin, with a little woodiness.
The ancho is the sweetest of the dried chiles, with mild to medium heat (3), a dark mahogany color, and an orange-red cordovan tint when held up to the light.
It is wrinkled, with broad shoulders (ancho means wide in Spanish) tapering to a round end, measuring 3-5 inches in length and 2-3 inches across the shoulders. With medium-thick flesh, it is at its best when very flexible and aromatic.
The ancho chile is in fact a dried poblano, and is the most commonly used dried chile in its native Mexico.