chile de arbol

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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

  1. :  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 Keenan, Omaha World-Herald, 16 June 2006 Chiles de árbol are thin, red, very hot chiles available at supermarkets, specialty foods stores, and Latin markets. — Carolynn Carreño, Bon Appétit, October 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 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.


First Known Use: 1970


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