Chipotle Morita, which comes from the Nahuatl word “chilpoctli” with “chil” meaning chile pepper and “poctli” meaning smoked (was originally “pochilli”). Morita means “small blackberry” in Spanish.
The ancient civilization of Teotihuacan was the largest city/ state in Mesoamerica (located north of modern-day Mexico City). The original habitats of Teotihuacan smoked chiles hundreds of years before the Aztecs (1345-1521) did. This “smoke drying” process was initially used for drying meats but they found that smoking allowed the chilies to be stored for a long period of time. Teotihuacan is actually the Aztec name for the city, which translates to “Place of the Gods” as the original name has not been deciphered from surviving name glyphs (unique marks that collectively add up to the spelling of a word) at the site. Chile historians believe that the Aztecs also smoked jalapeno peppers because the fleshy, thick walls of the jalapeno were often difficult to dry in the sun and tended to rot.
Chipotle Chiles, Capsicum annuum, is actually fully ripened and then smoked dried jalapeno chile peppers which are native to Veracruz, Mexico. Pronounced “chi-POHT-lay”. It takes approximately 10 pounds of fresh jalapenos to make one pound of dried Chipotles, the end result is a dark brown to black colored, wrinkled pepper. There are two primary types of chipotle chiles – “ Morita” and “Meco”. These are the chipotle “Morita” chiles.
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