Chiles de Árbol are small and thin peppers, up to 7 cm long and less than 1 cm wide. They ripen to a bright, vibrant red and are harvested and used at this stage.
Chile de Árbol means "tree chili" in Spanish, a name that refers to the woody stem of the pepper. These peppers are very popular in Mexican cuisine. Other names for this pepper are Bird's beak chili and Rat's tail chili.
The peppers can be used fresh, dried or in powder form. The dried whole peppers are often used to make wreaths of chili peppers or ristras, as they retain their deep red color when dried.
Chili de arbol peppers can be used in any dish to make it hot or spicy, especially chili, salsa and hot sauces. Usually only a few peppers are needed to make a dish nice and spicy. One of the most popular recipes using these chilies is chili de arbol salsa, which can be made from fresh or dried chili peppers.