What Type of Chili is a Chipotle Chili?
A chipotle chili is a dried jalapeño chili. But it is a bit more complicated than just that.
The average consumer knows the jalapeño chili as a green, mild, fresh chili, but when you leave jalapeño on the plant for longer it goes from green to red – and this is critical for the understanding of chipotle chilies.
There are a number of variations on the chipotle chili, simply because there are many varieties of jalapeño and many different techniques and preferences for the dried chipotle.
There are two classic varieties that are the most “normal”, and then some that are not known as chipotles, but are of the same dried chili family:
- Chipotle Morita: the ripe and red jalapeño is lightly smoked for around half of the time that a chipotle meco is. Traditionally the chipotle morita can be smoked for 1 – 4 days depending on the flavor profile. Since the smoking time is lower, the chipotle morita retains a lot more fruitiness, while the chipotle meco has a deeper smoke flavor.
- Chipotle Meco (seco, típico): the ripe and red jalapeño is smoked for a long time creating a light brown dried chili with lots of flavor. This type of chipotle is typically more difficult to find in markets outside of Mexico.
- Non-chipotle “chipotles”:
- Capones: This literally means the “castrated ones” and is a smoked red jalapeño with no seeds. Capones are quite expensive and rare to find.
- Jalapeño chico: green jalapeño that is smoked – normally small green jalapeños that could not be sold as fresh chilies.