The Pasilla Chile is the dried Chilaca Chile. Pronounced “pah-SEE-yah” the word Pasilla is derived from the word “Pasa” which translates to “little black raisin”. Also called pasilla negro, chile negro, chile pasilla and chile pasilla de Mexico. Dried Pasilla Negros are long, thin chiles that are 5” – 10″ in length and 1″ to 1-1/2” wide at the top (by the stem). The color of this dried pepper is dark blackish-purple; similar to the color of an eggplant or a raisin. The chile negro is an essential ingredient for making classic mole sauce and red enchilada sauce. Add to stews, soups, casseroles, relishes, dips, appetizers, salsa and savory sauces. This chile’s flavor is especially compatible with seafood. It is one of the principle ingredients in the traditional Mexican spicy chocolate mole sauce, known as mole poblano, the “National dish of Mexico”. It is important to note the difference between these two peppers because the pasilla in American culture would not be suitable for a rich Mexican mole sauce. Only a guajillo chile is considered an acceptable substitute for a dried chilaca chile. The pasilla negro is called for in many traditional Mexican recipes, but is also great for adding spice to corn chowder, meat loaf and stews. This chile is also excellent in salsas and cream sauces, particularly sauces for fish. You can opt to toast them first for added flavor and re-hydrate them by soaking in hot tap water for about 20 minutes. Don’t soak any longer or they can become bitter. Dried Negro chiles contain vitamin A, C, the B vitamins and significant amounts of iron, thiamine, niacin, magnesium and riboflavin. Chiles are cholesterol-free, saturated fat-free, low calorie, low sodium, and high in fiber.