Spotlight Spice: Chipotle Chiles

This week’s spotlight spice is all about demystifying chipotle chiles (spoiler: they are just smoked red-ripe jalapeño peppers). At AllSpice you’ll find two varieties of dried chipotle peppers on the shelves:

So, what’s the difference?

Chipotles are typically divided into two categories – morita and meco. Both have a distinctly smoky flavor; however, moritas are smoked for less time than mecos, allowing them to retain their naturally complex fruity and sweet flavors. Moritas also tend to be slightly milder – ours range from 12,000 to 26,000 Scoville heat units. Chipotles found in the spice aisle at your local grocery store are typically the morita variety as those are most readily available in the U.S.

Our Chipotle Brown Powder is made from pulverized smoke-dried chipotle meco chiles. You’ll find the powder has notes of cacao and a deep, subtle heat and robust smokiness. And our Chipotle Chile, Brown Powder is a touch spicier than the morita crushed or powdered, ranging from 13,000 – 28,000 Scoville heat units.

Either variety will add pleasant smokiness to your dishes and are common in Mexican and Tex-Mex cooking. We typically recommend giving each a try and using the variety which best suits your tastes. We like to use Chipotle Chiles in chili, enchilada sauces, rich stews, and BBQ sauces and dishes. Give chipotles a try in your homemade BBQ rubs for poultry, beef, and chicken. We also love chipotle on squash and root vegetables to add a bit of smoky depth and heat.

Find recipes featuring Chipotle Chile, Morita Crushed/Powder and Chipotle Chile, Brown Powder (meco) in the AllSpice recipe library.  If you’ve found your favorite of the two, share it with us in the comments below!