One chile that I couldn’t live without having in my pantry is the chile mora. There is something about its intense smoky flavor and rich burgundy-colored skin that makes it almost sexy and alluring. If there is a line up of salsas on a table, my favorite almost always includes the chile mora. I love that it is so small, but yet so packed with spiciness, aroma, and taste. Take a look at some more information below about this sassy dried chile.
Name: Chile Mora
AKA: Chile Morita (according to Diana Kennedy it is erroneously called this), Chipotle Mora, Chile Seco Ahumado, Chile Chipotle
Fresh Chile Name: When fresh, this chile is called the jalapeño.
Description: These dried peppers are small and wrinkly. They have a deep berry-color which is where they get their name—mora, meaning berry. They are about 2” (5 cm) long and ½-1” (1-2.5 cm) wide. The chile mora is a jalapeño pepper that has been left to ripen until red. It is then smoke-dried, and the resulting pepper has a raisin-like texture. Smoked chiles originated in the ancient civilization of Teotihuacán, located near present-day Mexico City. The natives of this region discovered that they could not dry jalapeños in the sun without their thick skins rotting. However, they soon realized that they could preserve them through smoke-drying, similar to the process used to preserve meats. The main difference between the chile mora and the chile meco (both smoke-dried jalapeños) is that the chile mora is smoked for less time, which leaves it softer and gives it a slightly fruitier flavor.
Flavor and Heat: The chile mora has medium-hot heat ranging from 10,000-30,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale. It has a distinct barbecue-like aroma, and an amazingly deep smoky flavor. Its flavor cannot be mistaken in any salsa, and the dried pepper adds a lovely reddish brown tone to sauces. It is nice to leave the seeds in for added flavor, heat, and texture. They have a noticeable golden color.
Substitutions: Chile Meco, Chile Chipotle en Adobo
Other Information: The northern Mexican state of Chihuahua produces an abundance of chile mora. However, it is mainly used in Mexico City, Puebla, and Veracruz.
Have you ever used dried peppers in your cooking?