Q: Dear Dave,
I find it very difficult to find chile tepins in any store in the last couple of years. I have tried growing them with a little success, but the last ones were caught in an early freeze a year ago. Today, I found some peppers in Wal-Mart by that look like tepines but are called chili petines. I have not tried them in anything yet so I don’t know if the flavor is what I’m looking for. Do you know if they are the same chiles but spelled wrong, or are they different but look exactly alike?
A: Hello Mary:
As is typical with chile nomenclature, there are alternate spellings of the same variety. Generally speaking, if they look like what you want, they generally are that variety. Small, round-podded varieties are uncommon, so I think this is what you are looking for. Chiltepins are variously spelled petines for some unknown reason.–Dave