Mexico City hosts chili pepper festival

Mexico City, May 22 (EFE).- Chili peppers and sauces will take center stage at a festival being held this week in Mexico City, where the spicy plant, one of the pillars of Mexican cuisine, will be honored, organizers said.

The 1st Chilis, Sauces and Mortars Festival, which will be held Friday to Sunday, is being organized by the Enchilada Fair, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

Mexico exports 560,000 tons of chili peppers annually, both fresh and dry peppers, making it the world's No. 2 producer of the spicy products.

Chili peppers are used in nearly all Mexican dishes, making them an essential part of the local cuisine.

There are about 50 varieties of chilis, but the best known in Mexico are the jalapeƱo and the serrano.

Some other varieties, like the guajillo, pasilla, chilpaya and "mira pa arriba" (look up), are not well known outside Mexico.