One of the things that I do with my pepper company is try and create actual new flavors and ingredients. My kitchen at home is my lab and as I find flavors on my personal journey I like to share my discoveries with you. This is one of those revelations I had about boring chili flakes so I went on the search to find a substitute and found a guy in New Mexico who get the BEST dried chilis that I take and process from whole dried chili peppers to what you see here.
Chili de Arbol translates to "tree chili" in Spanish due to the size of the plants. The Chile de Arbol is a small, thin Mexican pepper that has a smoky grassy characteristic with a bright acidic heat. It is hotter than a jalapeño pepper and comes in at around 20,000-50,000 SHU.
I smoke some of these chili peppers over pecan and cherry wood for an even deeper flavor that can be used to add some smoke and spice to soups, stews, sauces, pizza, or anywhere else you use chili flakes.
You can substitute these for your normal run of the mill flavorless chili flakes but beware, these are about 10 times hotter.