chile de arbol

play
noun chile de ar·bol \ ˈchē-(ˌ)lā-dā-är-ˈbōl \
variants: or chile de árbol

Definition of chile de arbol

plural chiles de arbol or chiles de árbol
food
:a small, elongate hot pepper of Mexico that is bright red when mature
  • Chile de arbol, a relative of the cayenne pepper, it has an acidic, smoky heat that gives it a killer punch.
  • —John KeenanOmaha World-Herald16 June 2006
  • Chiles de árbol are thin, red, very hot chiles available at supermarkets, specialty foods stores, and Latin markets.
  • —Carolynn CarreñoBon AppétitOctober 2010

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Origin and Etymology of chile de arbol

borrowed from Spanish chile de árbol, literally, “tree pepper,” translation of Nahuatl cuauhchīlli
Note: The Nahuatl word was recorded as quauhchilli and translated as “chile de arbol” in Francisco Hernández, Quatro libros de la naturaleza, y virtude de las plantas, y animales que estan recevidos en el uso de medicina en el Nueva España (México, 1615), “Cap. III [del Libro Segundo], Del chilli, o pimienta de las Yndias.” Note that Nahuatl cuahuitl (stem cuauh-) means wood” or “stick” as well as “tree,” so that the original sense of the compound may have been “woody chili,” referring, perhaps, to the pepper’s woody stems.


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