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Dec 8, 2009 06:29 AM

Looking for Fresh Chile Peppers


I seem to be having a devil of a time finding fresh Ancho and Serrano chiles.

I live in the Dixie Burnhamthorpe area and occasionally the Loblaw Store by HWY427 has them, but not often. Any ideas on where I could find a more reliable source would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Isn't an Ancho chile just a dried Poblano?

    Sometimes you can find fresh Poblano in Kensington Market. I've never seen a fresh Serrano chile.

    9 Replies
    1. re: trane

      Yes, it seems Ancho is dred poblano, so "fresh" is not possible. It's been a while since I've looked into obtaining them. Thank you for your response.

      1. re: trane

        There are serranos in Kensington. Try any of the Latino shops that carry fresh produce. I shop there weekly and they always have poblanos too (and anchos for that matter, only in the dried chile section). Some weeks the fresh produce can be a little wrinkly but the price is always right.

        1. re: basileater

          I've been trying to locate Latino shops and just now found a reference to one on Hurontario a little North of Dundas. Another reference was for Mavis/Eglinton NoFrills. I travel past both places regularly, so I can check them out. I don't get to Kensington much, though I will look next time through. Thanks for the input!

          1. re: dakjek

            i live in mississauga as well i would like to here more about these shops if you get a chance

            1. re: dakjek

              No dice for fresh. Poblanos surface regularly at Longo's around Mississauga, along with other non-Mexican hot types. Question is: what are you using them for?? Rellenos work just fine with polanos. The REAL problem, however, is dried: no anchos, guajillos, pequins, chipotles in an edible state seem available in Mississauga--aside from my cupboard and that's because family ships them from PHX. NoFrills does OK with standard canned/bottled salsas and chiles, along with the occasional pack of corn husks for tamales.

              1. re: Kagemusha

                I just came back from southern Mexico with a suitcase full of items that can't be found locally. Sometimes it's the only way.

                1. re: basileater

                  You might want to resign yourself to online orders for dried chiles. is a decent service. They have a store in Ottawa and ship from there.

                  I live in Windsor and have had some luck with finding ancho, guajillo, piquillo and cascabel chiles at a local store that caters more to Caribbean and African cuisines. They carry some Mexican products. I'm mentioning this because there might be stores catering to Jamaicans or West Indians in Mississauga that happen to carry a variety of fresh and dried chiles, as well as other fresh, frozen and canned Mexican products.

                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                    That would be many NoFrills around Mississauga, as well as Highland Farms. The Ottawa mail order joint is OK but extortionately pricey. San Marcos and Herdez brand products are widely available.

                2. re: Kagemusha

                  I've no problem with substitutes, unless testing a recipe, at which point I must use the exact ingredients. I live (and shop) by Longo's, but mine has the regular run of peppers only. Thank you for the substitution suggestions, though.

                  I've found dry chiles at a shop along Bloor (I think near Dufferin). It's a Portuguese store that seems to carry a few Mexican items, too. I believe that's the store, but I've only been there once.

                  BTW - If I find something, I'll report back. I need these before Christmas.

          2. I've gotten both in Kensington Market but never in a typical grocery store.