Q: Dear Dave,
I work for a food manufacturer in So. California. One of my customers wants to buy some poblano peppers from us. When I offered him pasillas and said that the terms were used interchangeably within the industry, he said no thanks, they had to be poblanos. When I discussed this with my buyer he said that he receives pasillas when he orders poblanos. He said that they are the same. Can you help clarify for me whether pasillas are the "poblano" he is looking for? What are their differences and are poblanos even available in the mainstream marketplace?
A: Hello Drinda:
Blame the confusion on the California produce industry. It labels the poblano chile as "pasilla," which is plain wrong. Poblano when dried becomes the ancho. The true pasilla is a dried chilaca—long and thin. Poblanos are far more common in the marketplace than pasillas. See the following Pepper Profiles for more information: