Dried Cascabel chile peppers are a small varietal, averaging 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter, and have a somewhat round to oval shape tapering slightly toward the blunt, curved tip. The dried pods retain a similar appearance to the fresh peppers, not becoming as wrinkled as other dried chiles, but there are still a few deep creases, folds, and indentations within the pod. The pepper should also have a little give when squeezed, an indication that it is still fresh and not overly mature. The pepper’s skin is tough, leathery, smooth, and glossy, found in variegated hues of dark red and brown, almost black. The skin is also speckled with gold and orange patches, a natural by-product of the drying process that will not affect the pepper’s flavor. Underneath the surface, there is a thin layer of dark red-orange flesh encasing a hollow central cavity filled with round, golden yellow seeds. Dried Cascabel chile peppers have a fruity, savory aroma, and the flesh has a complex blend of earthy, woodsy, floral, and smoky flavors mixed with nutty and acidic nuances. The peppers have a mild to moderate heat that is initially strong but quickly dissipates on the palate.