I recently watched Pollito Enchilado De Mi Rancho A Tu Cocina, and one of the spices used was "pimienta chica." Pimienta negra was also used, so it sounds like this is something different from black pepper.

To make matters more confusing, a lot of Mexican websites selling spices list "pimienta negra chica," so I'm not sure if it's just a smaller black peppercorn or a different variety of pepper entirely.

So, what is pimienta chica in this context?


Apparently the pimienta negra chica or pimienta chica is what is known in English as peppercorn. There is a different spice, pimienta gorda, which is known in English as allspice.

My first source was an article at https://www.imco.mx/productos/pimienta-gorda/. It was corroborated at https://www.laprensagrafica.com/mujer/Los-tipos-de-pimienta-20140317-0154.html. Next I did a google images search for pimienta negra chica y pimienta gorda comparison (I know, I suddenly switched languages in the middle of the search phrase -- but hey, it worked). I found the following helpful image, which used to be posted at https://ok-salud.com/ but which is no longer there. Warning for the squeamish: please be aware that there are images of endoparasites on the home page of ok-salud.com. At any rate, the comparison picture of the two spices is quite helpful:

dos pimientas

In the video you watched (thanks for the link!) she clearly adds three separate spices ("pimienta chica, pimienta negra y un poquito de clavos"). So it seems this cook's name for these two spices doesn't match up exactly with what I found. At any rate, her recipe seems to include black pepper, allspice and cloves.

Food names vary from one region to another more than anything else I know. It could be a regional thing or it could be that she misspoke, or that she has her own pet names for these spices. I did check some online recipes, and what I commonly found was "pimienta negra" and "pimienta gorda" (listed as separate ingredients).

(I wish someone would get Doña Ángela a deeper wooden spoon so she has an easier time fishing the round tomato halves out of the hot oil....)

¡Buen provecho!

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