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Chile mixe, non-culinary applications in Oaxaca

The chile mixe (chile pasilla mixe) is one of the traditional foods of Mexican culture. It comes from the Sierra Mixe (hence its name) in Oaxaca and its smoky flavor is present in many dishes of traditional Mexican cuisine. However, despite its popularity, in the rest of the country it is known as Oaxacan pasilla chile.

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From Oaxaca to everyone

These chilies are mainly harvested in the towns of Santa María Tlahuitoltepec, Santa María Alotepec and San Pedro Ayacaxtepec. The cultivation of this fruit is usually done during the month of October, when the rainy season ends. This is done to be able to dry them without any setback.

chile mixe

This chili has been of great importance to Mixe culture since pre-Hispanic times, where it had non-culinary applications. Until the last century in some towns such as Santa María Alotepec, some of these customs were still practiced.

One of them is the mixh pepper sahumations, which consisted of purifying with smoke the people who dedicated themselves to digging the graves of the deceased.

Currently, this chili is one of the cultural pillars of the Mixe region in Oaxaca. Its inhabitants consume this food daily. The day laborers usually bring mixe chile paste, beans and tortillas to endure the hard days of the field.

Chile mixe and the Chintextle

The Mixe region comprises 19 municipalities of Oaxaca that stand out for their wealth in forest resources. Agriculture is the main economic activity, and besides mixe chili, potatoes, corn, beans, squash, sugar cane, citrus and coffee are grown.

chile mixe

The most representative dishes with chile mixe in the region are the machucado and the mixe broth. Both is prepared with “chintextle”, a paste that is made with the mixe chili.

The machucado is a ceremonial dish that is generally served in August. While the mixe broth is a broth with chicken, vegetables and beans, which is chintextled for flavor.


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