The history of chipotle can be traced all the way back to early food practices used in Mesoamerica, dating back even before the time of the Aztecs. So, what exactly is a chipotle?
What is a chipotle?
A chipotle is a smoke-dried ripe jalapeño chili pepper used for seasoning. It’s a chili primarily used for Mexican cuisines but is also very popular in the Southwestern United States. Chipotles can come in different forms, such as a sauce, soup, dip, and powder. Some people also enjoy them pickled or dried.
The history of the chipotle cooking process
Typically, a grower passes through a jalapeño field many times, picking the unripe, green jalapeños for the market. Jalapeños are green for most of the season but in the fall, which is the end of the growing season, they naturally ripen and turn bright red. In Mexico and the United States, there is a growing market for ripe, red jalapeños. The vibrant, red color also signals the last stage of maturation for the pepper. They are kept on the bush as long as possible, but the next step can be the crucial one. This is when the peppers become deep red, as it signals that they have lost most of their moisture. Once they have reached this stage, they are picked by growers and these are the peppers that will be made into chipotles.
The history of chipotle production involves the use of firewood to dry and smoke the red jalapeño for a period of six days in an open-smoker installation. The temperature is maintained between 65 and 75 degrees Celsius, using mainly pecan firewood. It’s also interesting to note that depending on how the chipotles are preserved, their flavor can change. Traditionally, the peppers are moved to a closed smoking chamber and spread on metal grills, but in recent years producers have begun using large gas dryers. Wood is put in a firebox, and the smoke enters the sealed chamber. Every few hours the jalapeños are stirred to mix in the smoke. They are smoked for several days until most of the moisture is removed.
If you’re a fan of chipotle or just spicy food in general, then you have to try our chipotle corn soup here at SoLé SoupS. Delicious taste, good texture, and a little kick that keeps you coming back. And as always, you can order pickup or delivery.