Chipotle peppers are the name for fully ripe red jalapeno peppers that have been smoked. Most of the natural heat of the jalapeno is retained in the process. On the heat scale of all the chili peppers, this is usually considered a medium heat. Chipotles are available dried whole, powdered, pickled, and canned in Adobo sauce. The chipotle powder isnâ€™t easy to find, so if you see some, give it a try. The smoke flavour and the jalapeno flavour really add a lot to soups, stews, chili, and sausage. Just use the powder it as you would any other chili powder. Chipotles date back to region that is now northern Mexico City, prior to the Aztec civilization. It is conjectured that the Aztecs smoked the chilies because the thick, fleshy, jalapeno was difficult to dry and prone to rot. The Aztecs used the same "smoke drying" process for the chilies as they used for drying meats. This smoking allowed the chilies to be stored for a substantial period of time. Today Chipotles are used widely throughout Mexico as well as in the United States. Quite popular in the South Western U.S. and California; Chipotles have found their way into the cuisine of many celebrity chefs from Hawaii to Manhattan.