Ancho and Chipotle... Are they chilli types?


Date:23 Nov 2023

Blog Type:Vegetables

Of the Mexican chillies, Ancho and Chipotle are probably the most popular after the humble, but oh so popular Jalapeño. 

The single most often asked question I get is do I grow Chipotle?

Well no I don't, not because I don't want to, but because we can't. Let's look a little into these Mexican peppers like seco, cascabel, morita, ancho and there are oh so many more.

Mexican cuisine is full of Chilli, but they don't use fresh chillis as much as we do. They use dried chillies. These are rehydrated to use. This process adds to the rich and smokey notes to the chillies, thus the chillies are named to their food name. These names are what are most popular.

For Chipotle, they smoke Jalapeño that are starting to ripen for a few days in mesquite smoke till dry. They have a strong rich smokey flavour.  For Morita, they are picked at peak ripeness, smoked and dried less, so the give a soft smokey, but still fruity flavour when used. Generally the smoke stops the seeds germinating.

Ancho is used for stuffing once rehydrated, and also to add a Base favour to build on. It adds richness and thickness to base sauces. . Ancho seeds are sold, but the name is used incorrectly. There are 2 main types sold, Pablano Ancho, and Pablano Ancho St Luis. The correct label is Pablano, and there is the brick red version and the brighter St Luis Red version. Both are picked unripe and are called Ancho. If left to ripen and then dried, they become Maluto.

The pictures are my Ancho, the bigger peppers. I got them from Koanga labeled Ancho Pablano. It is unknown  if they are the red or brown, but as the brown is more prominent in NZ, I suspect they will be as such. I have since sourced St Luis Red from a northland supplier and hopefully I can grow both versions next year. 

The Jalapeño in the pick is Pacho F1. I grow this as it is such a prolific plant, with corking, ghe lines you see on the pepper, that look like dried up cracks. A rule of thumb is the more corking, the hotter and beter the flavour. 

I have 6 pablano, and 8 Jalapeño PachoF1 plants. I also have a pot with a Jalapeño Flame as a test version that will hopefully perform well and give me the option of seed saving. 😊

Ancho and Chipotle... Are they chilli types?