Anchos are heart shaped chilies about 3 inches wide and 4 inches long. When fresh, they are called Poblanos. When dried, they are called Ancho peppers. The flavor of ancho peppers are somewhat sweet and raisinlike, mildly spicy. These are the sweetest of the dried chilies.
The outer skin and inner veins and seeds have different flavors. The outer skin is sweet and inside is spicy. If you have the whole pepper, you can separate the two flavors and control the spiciness by removing the seeds for a milder flavor. When using fresh Poblanos, the outer skin should be removed. They are used in tamales and red chile.
You can buy these whole or ground, as a paste and fresh. Fresh can be kept in a paper bag in the fridge for a week. Whole or ground will last in airtight containers or in the freezer for up to one year.
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