It’s time to meet your new ally in an ongoing quest for adding smoky flavours to dishes. Behold the Chipotle peppers that make you feel that your dish has been roasting on hot coals for hours! Its real smoky punch is something irresistible. From barbeque sauce to burritos, Chipotle in Australia is used for almost every conceivable dish. But do you know what it is?
What Are Chipotle Peppers?
A chipotle is nothing but a ripened, smoke-dried jalapeno peppers. So, there is your secret for the sweet, creamy, and smoky-hot flavour delivered to your dish. Chipotle in Australia is specifically a separate breed of peppers, but a method of preparation. You will be surprised to know that there are several varieties of jalapenos used to prepare chipotle peppers. These vary in heat, smokiness, and size.
Nevertheless, Jalapeno peppers are harvested at the season’s end when they are slightly dry. Jalapenos are then placed on grills made from bamboo, metal, or wood inside a smoking chamber. The smoke is allowed to penetrate the wood for several days using a firebox. They are flipped over several times to allow the smoke to penetrate the Jalapeno skin. This traditional process dates back to Pre-Aztec Mexico when the natives used this method to improve the longevity of their capsicum peppers. Modern processing may use large, gas dries or liquid smoke for achieving the smokiness of chipotle.
Types of Chipotle
Many kinds of chipotle vary in their processing methods.
Translating to ‘’ little blackberry’’ in Spanish, these chipotles are not subjected to high-intensity smoking. Hence, they do not deliver too much smokiness and are dark red or purple in colour.
Also known as chilli ahumado, these chipotles have a greyish- tan colour along with a dusty-looing surface. They are smoked for a longer time than Moritas and hence has an intense smoky flavour. In fact, this variety is the most preferred chipotle among the natives. Sometimes, they are also called chilli navideño because they are an integral ingredient for traditional Christmas dishes where they are reconstituted and stuffed during preparation.
This is a large Huachinango chilli that has a similar flavour profile as a Tipico. A Huachinango is nothing but fresh jalapeno that is grown in Puebla and Oaxaca. They measure four to five inches long with a sweet, thick, and well-rounded, complex spiciness.
You can also find chipotle Tamarindo that is larger than the Grande variety. It has acquired its name by resembling the shape of a tamarind fruit pod. This is known to be the most prized variety of stuffing peppers. Jalapeno Chico is another variety where jalapenos are smoked while they are still green and immature. Chipotles capones also make an occasional appearance that is seedless and smoked red jalapenos. These are much milder, however.
Chipotle Flavour Profile
If you are a fan of smoky flavour then chipotle peppers are something to stock up in your kitchen cabinet. They also deliver an earthy flavour due to the smoking process. Since jalapenos are allowed to ripen on the vines, they tend to gain an underlying sweetness that is hard to miss as well. Red jalapenos are much sweeter than the unripe green ones. They also give a meaty or grilled taste while using them with vegetables. Chipotle is known for adding great colours and depth to the dishes, along with some complex notes that are perfect for desserts.
What Is the Heat Level Of Chipotle Peppers?
Surprisingly, both Chipotle and Jalapenos lie in the same overall range of 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units. However, chipotles rank much higher on the Scoville heat range. Since chipotles are made from ripe, red jalapenos, they have high levels of capsaicin as they are made to remain on the vines longer. Now, Capsaicin is the prime constituent responsible for delivering heat to chillies. So, you can expect the heat levels in chipotle to be on a higher overall median.
Chipotles are a step higher than ancho as well. Ancho is another dried pepper that is made from fresh poblanos. These peppers are known to be three times milder than the chipotles. However, cayenne peppers, habanero, and ghost peppers are some of the top-ranking candidates on the Scoville heat scale. When compared to these, chipotle falls well below in overall spiciness.
While chipotle is enjoyed in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines, it is a part of fusion cooking as well. You can use it to season chilli sauce, soups, sauce, salsa, bean dishes, stews, and slow-cooked meat dishes. Combine chipotle with sour cream or guacamole and use it on burritos, tacos, and baked potatoes. Stir chipotle into mayo to add a smoky punch to your bread, sandwiches, and burgers. You can even add it to pizza sauce, marinades, and lentils as they cook.
There is much to experiment and experience while cooking with chipotle. This spice has had a rich history and is a key ingredient for traditional Mexican dishes. Bring this versatile spice home to check out the effects of amazing smoky flavours on your taste buds.