Fresh guajillo chiles in NYC?
May 29, 2015 8:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm experimenting with hot sauce recipes and I'd like to try using fresh guajillo chiles instead of dried ones. I'll be in NYC this weekend and figure if I'm going to find them anywhere on the east coast it will be there. But where, there?

I've seen fresh guajillos for sale in Fort Worth before, so I know they're not a complete unicorn, but I've never seen them anywhere outside of Texas. Current plan is to check out the Essex Street Market, and maybe the gigantic Whole Foods on Bowery, but I can't find anywhere, not even the usually reliable Serious Eats, that can point me to a grocery carrying fresh guajillos, or other more unusual chiles fresh instead of dried. I figure I might have better luck in the more hispanic neighborhoods of say, Queens, but I dunno how I'd choose a grocery. So, if anyone knows exactly where to go, in Manhattan or the outer boroughs, I'd love to be able to make a bee line there instead of searching around helplessly.
posted by dis_integration to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My understanding is that fresh guajillos are almost never used, and I imagine will be pretty hard to find outside of the southwest. However, you should be able to use Anaheim peppers as a substitute as they're very similar to guajillos.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 8:42 AM on May 29, 2015

Best answer: I am not sure these places carry fresh guajillos, but you might have a good chance checking out Angel's Fruit Market at 272 Knickerbocker Ave in Bushwick, or this amazing place
posted by catrae at 8:51 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Maybe contact Nolasco Farm? They're at a couple different farmers markets around the city and they have Mexican specialty produce. Also worth a try is Mi Ranchito Farm but I'm not sure if they're at markets at this time of year.
posted by the twistinside at 9:10 AM on May 29, 2015

Just FYI -- I live in Queens and go to a lot of Mexican groceries, but I've never seen fresh guajillos. I think a Greenmarket vendor, as the twistinside suggested, would be a better bet.
posted by neroli at 9:16 AM on May 29, 2015

You might try searching for mirasol, since AFAIK guajillo almost always refers to the dried chile. Fresh ones have a really thick, waxy skin, though; there's a reason people usually dry them.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:23 AM on May 29, 2015

I'd also do some poking around online and make sure there isn't another name that guajillos go by. I think some chiles have different names for the fresh and dried versions. So, maybe I have seen them and didn't know?

Anyway, if you do go to Queens, the Mi Tierra supermarket on Roosevelt is probably your best shot.
posted by neroli at 9:24 AM on May 29, 2015

Best answer: Oh, and if you can get good Hatch or Pueblo chiles, they're quite similar. Anaheim is the generic varietal, as mentioned above, but you can buy Hatch chiles in a can on the east coast.

At least in the Southwest/Chihuahua, I have never seen them eaten fresh. You either get them on a ristra dried or you pull up to a stand, the guy has bushels of chiles in mesh bags, and he roasts them for you on the spot in a big propane-fueled wire contraption that singes off the waxy skin.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:30 AM on May 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I live in Texas and my mother lives in New Mexico, and I've never seen a fresh guajillo. I'd go with a New Mexico chile if you can find them as they'd be very similar. Hatch is best.
posted by hrj at 12:00 PM on May 29, 2015

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