Difference Between California and Guajillo Chillies

dried chilies

Chillies play a large role in cuisine, especially in Mexican food which incorporates the use of different varieties of chili peppers. California and guajillo chillies are among the many varieties of chilli popularly used in cooking. Here are the differences between california and guajillo chillies

The california chilli is also known as the New Mexico chilli or Anaheim pepper. It is a relatively mild variety, ranging only from 500 to 2,500 Scoville heat units. While the heat is indeed softer than other chillies, it makes up for its sharp and acidic flavor. This type of chilli is also a popular choice for ground spice blends.

The guajillo chilli is the dried form of the popular mirasol chilli, which is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It is moderate in heat at 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville heat units. The guajillo chilli comes in two varieties – a small and hot variety called the “Puya” and the longer and wider one which has a richer flavor but milder heat. Guajillo chillies are also known for their slightly fruity taste.

Comparison Board

California Guajillo
Description A mild variety of chilli with a sharp flavor and acidity that is often dried and used for ground spice blends The dried version of the mirasol chilli, known for its moderate heat and slightly fruity flavor. It comes in two varieties.
Appearance Bright green, then bright red when ripe; wide at the top portion and tapered or blunt at the bottom; usually 5 to 7 inches long Deep red with a tough and smooth skin; usually 2 to 4 inches long
Alternate names New Mexico chilli, Hatch chilli, Anaheim pepper, chili seco del norte Chile guajillo
Heat level 500 to 2,500 SHU 2,500 to 5,000 SHU
Species Capsicum annuum Capsicum annuum
Applications in cuisine Diced,dried, roasted, served raw, fried, or baked Dried, used in salsa, marinades, butters, rubs, tamales and sauces


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