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One of the things you’ll always find on the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico are snack vendors, and among them are the fruit vendors. The fruits they offer are those that are in season. It’s like a rainbow of flavors in the fruit vendor’s cart. Today, some of those sellers use a chili powder sold commercially for that purpose; it has some other things besides the chili powder, like ascorbic acid, lemon juice, artificial colors, and salt.
But it used to not be that way years ago, when people used chili powder prepared at home. They used the Piquín/Chiltepin chili, which is grounded and mixed with salt to add some spiciness to the fruit.
Piquín, or chiltepín, is the most common name that this little pepper is known by throughout México, although there are many name changes from one region to another. The name Chiltepín is derived from two Nanuatl words: “Chillitl”, or chilli, and “tecpintli”, meaning flea. It is logical to think that the name is due to their small size, but do not underestimate them, they are quite spicy. They are consumed during all of their three stages, green fresh cut of the plant green, red when mature and dry when they had changed to a reddish copper color.These chilies are used for stews and sauces.
More than a recipe, this is just a process to make you own hot dry pepper powder, one that you can also use not just for the fruits, salsas, and Mexican stews, but for your own cooking creations.
Seasonal Fruits like watermelon, pineapple, mangos in the Summer or Oranges in the winter.
1/2 cup of Chile Pequin Dried *
Lime juice to add to your fruit
1 tablespoon of Salt
* If Piquín pepper is not available in your area, use any other dry spicy pepper. Some ethnic stores carry Thai or Indian dry peppers.
* This mix will also be a great addition to your next barbecue spicy rub or as a substitute for cayenne pepper powder.
1. Place the dry peppers in a mortar, Molcajete, or spice grinder and grind until it forms a fine powder-like mixture.
2. Add salt and mix. Sprinkle over the fruit of your choice with lime juice and enjoy!