The cascabel chili (little bell), also known as the rattle chili, is one of the Mirasol cultivars of the species Capsicum annuum. The 'rattle' and 'bell' designations describe the tendency of loose seeds to rattle inside a dried cascabel when shaken. Fresh cascabel, which is 2-3 cm in diameter, is also known by the alias bola chili or chile bola (Spanish for ball chili). The pigmentation of the fresh chilis blends from green to red; when dried, the color darkens.
Farmers cultivate cascabel in several states throughout Mexico, including Coahuila, Durango, Guerrero, and Jalisco.
The species is a source of popular sweet peppers and hot chilis with numerous varieties cultivated all around the world, and is the source of popular spices such as cayenne, chili, and paprika powders.
Common naming in English falls generally in line with the flavor and size of the variant. Larger, sweeter variants are called "capsicums" in Australia and New Zealand and red or green peppers, or "bell peppers" in the United States and Great Britain. The smaller, hotter varieties are called chillis, chilies, chile, or chili peppers, or in parts of the US, 'peppers'.
Capsinoid chemicals provide the distinctive tastes in C. annuum variants. In particular, capsaicin creates a burning sensation ("hotness"), which in extreme cases can last for several hours after ingestion. A measurement called the Scoville scale has been created to describe the hotness of peppers and other foods.