Fresh chiles are, like bell peppers, capsicums that grow as thick pods. They are prized for their mild to hot spiciness used to season a wide range of dishes. Their heat-which ranges from mild to incendiary-is packed in their ribs and seeds. For a milder flavor, remove both before using. A wide variety of chiles-red, yellow, or green in color-are available in well-stocked grocery stores or produce markets. Store fresh chiles in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, wrapped in paper towels.
For specific types of fresh chiles, see Anaheim, arbol, bird's-eye, chilaca, habaņero, jalapeņo, poblano, serrano, and yellow chiles.