Some of my favorite salsas are those containing the chipotle chile. I love the added rich, smokey flavor that these peppers have. But, did you know that there are actually two different types of chipotle chiles? Yep…the chile meco and the chile morita. I am amazed at how different they look and the meco has more defined smokey flavor. Read below to find out more about the chile meco.
Name: Chile Meco (Brown Chipotle)
AKA: Chipotle Típico, Chile Ahumado
Fresh Chile Name: When fresh, this chile is called a jalapeño. A chipotle is simply a smoked, dried jalapeño pepper.
Description: There are two different types of chipotle chiles: the larger, brown chile meco (pictured here) and the smaller, purple-colored chile morita. There are two different stages when picking jalapeño peppers: Some of the jalapeños are harvested when green to be eaten fresh. Others, however, are left on the plant to turn a deep red color. Then they are picked and smoked for several days, which dries them out. The difference between the meco and the morita is that the meco is much larger and is smoked twice as long as the morita. The morita has a raisin-like texture, while the meco tends to be more brittle.
Flavor and Heat: The chile meco is far smokier than the chile morita, and tends to be more difficult to find in the U.S. It is considered to be a medium heat chile ranging from 5,000-10,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale. The meco will hold its flavor in a salsa that contains a variety of “strong” ingredients.
Substitutions: Chile Morita (other type of chipotle)
Other Information: Typically, ten pounds of jalapeños make one pound of chipotles. The name chipotle comes from the Náhuatl word chilpoctli, which means smoked pepper.
Have you ever seen this type of chipotle at a local Mexican grocery store? Have you used it? What do you think?