Chipotle Meco In a typical jalapeno field, a grower makes multiple passes harvesting the unripe green jalapenos for local markets. At the end of the growing season, the remaining jalapenos have fully ripened turning a brilliant red and there is a growing demand for these freshly picked, ripened red jalapenos in both the U.S. and Mexico. 

Chipotles are smoked jalapenos and are used primarily in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines. Jalapenos are from the species Capsicum annuum. The harder to find Chipotle “Meco” chiles are also known as Chile “Meco” or Chipotle Tipico.

Smoking Times

“Meco” chipotles are smoked for about twice as long as “Moritas” which gives them a more intense and richer flavor. In northern Mexico, fully ripened red jalapenos are smoked in large pits on a rack constructed of bamboo, metal or wood. Another pit is built nearby that houses the fire and there is a connecting tunnel where drafts of air pull the smoke up and over the pods.

“Meco” Chipotles smoked in this time-honored Mexican tradition are much more difficult to get here in the U.S. and depending on the supplier may be much more expensive than the “Moritas” with prices typically being $4-$8 more per lb. Because of this big price difference be aware of either unscrupulous suppliers or suppliers lacking sufficient knowledge selling “Moritas” in place of “Mecos”. Chipotle “Morita” Chiles are certainly not inferior to chiles (just different) as they are actually quite delicious and their flavor profile is even be preferred by some. 

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