A dried, plum-shaped, dark blood-red colored chile that ranges in size from about 1 to 1½ inches in diameter. Cascabel means "little round bell" or "rattle" in Spanish, a name alluding to the rattling sound this chile makes when shaken. This chile, with its rich nutty flavor and medium heat, is excellent in sauces, soups and other cooked dishes. The cascabel chile is also known as chile bola.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.