No smoke with fire? Can that be true? In the case of chipotle chiles, you’d have to say no. In fact most people who enjoy a medium level of spice think that chipotles provide a lovely smoky, spicy warmth. Not too much heat or unpleasant burning.
Mexican chipotles are smoke dried jalapenos. Nothing is added and yet the flavour and the sensation is utterly different. Something miraculous happens during the smoking process. The fresh bright, acidic flavours of the jalapeno give way to a smooth, rich, earthy smokiness. The chiles gives tremendous depth to your dishes without too much heat. It is a wonderful transformation, as the chile smokes the raw heat evaporates, but in Mexico nothing goes to waste. Consequently, parents often punished their children by holding them over the smokers until their eyes streamed and burned from the escaping chilli oils.
What’s in a name?
Originating the in Veracruz region, the jalapeno as a result takes its name from the capital city Xalapa. The first recorded mention of Chipotles is in 100BC and the Aztecs mastered the art of smoking chiles. Mexicans have perfected the art over centuries. And you can taste that perfection in every imported Mexican chile we supply.
Farmers today use very similar techniques to produce chipotle chillies. The process involves the use of firewood to dry and smoke the red jalapeño for a period of six days in an open-smoker. The smokers heat the chillies to a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Celsius, using mainly pecan firewood. Ten pounds of fresh jalapenos produces one pound of chipotles, The process concentrates the flavours. Rehydrating chipotles releases this amazing flavour into your dishes.
We love experimenting with Chipotle chillies. We recommend you try our contemporary take on the classic Pollo Pibil. You’ll experience big flavours. and moreover proof that the saying no smoke without fire isn’t always true.