Ancho peppers are dried Poblano peppers. Their flavor is somewhat sweet and somewhat raisin-like, with medium heat. The outer skin has a rich, sweet, raisin-like flavor, which is most commonly associated with the flavor of the dish 'chili'.
One of the identifying features of good Ancho Chili is its moisture content. Good Ancho should not be over-dry; when twisted, it should bend but not break, creak but not crackle. The market is overly flooded with dry Ancho. Our peppers are supple and have a wonderful raisin-like aroma.
When you buy the whole pod, you have the advantage of being able to separate the resin-like vibrant flavor of the outer skin and the heat of the inner seeds and veins. If grinding in a blender, you can modulate the heat of the pepper in your dish: grind with the seeds for medium heat, or without the seeds for a vibrant somewhat sweet, raisin-like flavor.Ancho chiles register between 1,000 and 2,000 Scoville heat units on the Scoville Scale.
Dried Ancho chilies can be reconstituted by soaking them in boiling-hot water for about 20 minutes.
The staple chile in authentic Mexican cooking, Ancho Chilies are a critical ingredient in red chili, tamales, many moles, enchiladas, salsa, soups and any sauce that may need some extra mild heat.
Ancho Chili is sometimes confused with Pasilla Chili; they are not the same.