Chili powder is an essential ingredient in many cuisines around the world. It adds a unique flavor and aroma to a wide range of dishes, from enchiladas to chili con carne. But when it comes to buying chili powder, there are so many options that it can be daunting for home cooks to know what to use. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the many different types of chili powder available today and where to buy them.
Types of Chili Powder
Before delving into where to buy chili powder, let’s take a look at the different types available and what distinguishes one from another:
- Ancho Chile Powder
Ancho chile powder is made from dried poblano peppers and has a mild heat level with fruity notes. It’s commonly used in Mexican cuisine in dishes like mole sauce.
- Chipotle Chile Pepper
Chipotle chile powder is made from smoked jalapeño peppers and has a smoky, slightly sweet taste with medium heat levels. It works well in barbecue rubs or as a seasoning for grilled meats.
- Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is made from ground red chilies and has high heat levels with a pungent flavor profile. It’s often used in Cajun cuisine or as an addition to hot sauces.
- New Mexico Chili Powder
New Mexico chili powder is made from dried hatch peppers that have been roasted before being ground into a fine powder. Its flavorful taste profile is perfect for adding depth and complexity to stews or soups.
- Thai Bird Chile Pepper
Thai bird chile pepper adds a fiery heat that’s commonly found in Thai cuisine – specifically curries and spicy salads like papaya salad (som tam) or meat larb salad typically served by street vendors.
Where to Buy Chili Powder?
Now that you know the different types of chili powders out there, let’s explore where to buy them.
- Grocery Stores
Most grocery stores will carry at least one or two varieties of chili powder; look for it in the spice aisle. Some popular varieties you may find are cayenne pepper, ancho chile powder, or generic chili powder blends.
- Online Retailers
You can also purchase chili powders from numerous online retailers such as Amazon, Penzeys, and The Spice House, which provide a wide range of blends and single-type chili powder with standard quality for your favorite dish.
- Local Markets
Local farmers’ markets or specialty food shops often have small-batch artisanal chili powders made by local growers, which could offer exceptional flavors that aren’t easy to come by elsewhere.
- Ethnic Markets
If you’re looking for specialty chili powders like chipotle chile pepper or New Mexico chile powder, head to Asian, Hispanic, or Middle Eastern ethnic markets, where you can find a wider selection of chili powders that cater to those ethnic cuisines.
- Make Your Own Chili Powder
Making your own homemade chili powder and having more control over the heat level and flavor profile is satisfying to many cooks. You need just a few ingredients, often found on the spice rack, such as dried peppers (stemmed), garlic, onion, salt, and oregano. Once you do, get grinding using a blender/coffee grinder/spice grinder/pestle and mortar – your homemade chili powder is ready.
Best Practices When Buying Chili Powder
When purchasing chili powder, opt for high-quality brands that offer fresh, all-natural seasoning packed with flavor without any additives/preservatives. However, if buying pre-packaged, always check out the expiration dates, shipping dates, and inspection dates printed during the packaging of the spicy mixture. This allows you peace of mind, knowing you’re getting top-notch products.
We hope this comprehensive guide has been helpful in navigating the maze of where to buy chili powder and what types are available. From grocery stores to specialty markets, there are plenty of options when it comes to purchasing chili powder. Remember to always buy fresh from reputable sellers and experiment with different varieties to explore new flavors and spice levels in your favorite dishes.