Manzano is pronounced: mahn zah noh. Manzano chiles are relatives of the hot and spicy South American rocoto pepper. Manzano chilis are most often used in their fresh form because the pods are so thick that they are difficult to dry. They are great for making hot salsas. The manzano chile pepper is unusual in that it has black seeds. The Manzano pepper is one of the few chilies that are cultivated in Mexico that are not included in the Capsicum annuum species. It is part of the Capsicum pubescens species from the Andes region. Its name translates to apple, and is also known as Chile Peron, Chile Caballo, and Chile Ciruelo. It is resistant to low temperatures and is typically grown at high altitudes. It turns to a yellow-orange color when reaching maturity.
The Manzano pepper generally rates between 12,000 and 30,000 Scoville units on the Scoville heat index.