What is Chipotle?

Chipotle is a traditional Mexican method to preserve jalapeño peppers using slow-smoking and drying.

In a nutshell, chipotle is a ripe red jalapeño pepper that’s smoked and dried. Hardwood smoke added to the natural sweet and heat from the pepper produces a truly amazing flavour.

This whole project started as a hobby. I’m a keen vegetable gardener. My husband and I love spicy food. Every winter we visit Mexico, the homeland of chilies where I like nothing more than exploring the local food markets.

ripe jalapenos
Ripe chipotles just started smoking

Put all that together and I’m growing a lot of peppers in my modest set of raised beds. What to do with a bumper crop? Make chipotle of course!

To be honest, if you’d asked me 10 years ago “what’s chipotle?”, you would have gotten a pretty vague answer. Now, I’m a believer (maybe even a bit obsessed).

dried chipotle chilies
. . . and here they are after I dehydrate them

As for pronunciation, check out this Youtube clip. The ‘t’ is almost silent, but not quite.

I grind mine into a powder that I use in meat rubs, fish seasoning, hummus, soups, stews and bbq sauces. Look for Bluewater Pepper Farm Hot Smokey Chipotle. A little goes a long way! You’d think the food was on the smoker for hours.

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