Chipotle Moritas begin as gorgeous, red, vine-ripened jalapeno peppers. Once lightly smoked and dried, they take on a reddish-purple hue, becoming shriveled like a currant or a raisin – thus the name, “Morita” which, in Spanish means “little mulberry”. Their complex flavors suggest hints of wood-smoke, chocolate, fruit and dried cherries, and while definitely spicy-hot, they’re generally not too overpowering. On the famous Scoville Heat Units scale, they range from 5-10,000 so they’re just about right for most people – definitely hotter than Ancho Chilies, but far milder than either Chilies de Arbol or the seriously-hot Habanero.
Chipotle Morita Chilies are one of the two types of chipotle peppers. The other is the Chipotle Meco. The difference is the Moritas are smoked for half the amount of time which leaves them a little softer, a little fruiter and just mildly smokey. They’re unique unto themselves – a slightly acidic, rich, wonderful addition to simmering soups and stews, chilis, sauces and more.
To enhance flavor, dry-toast your Moritas in a hot cast-iron skillet, or roast them on high heat in a toaster oven until they blister. You can remove the seeds and stems and grind them to use as chili powder in salsas, soups, stews, rubs, casseroles, tacos and other Mexican dishes, sauces and moles. Or you can simply rehydrate just until they soften, about 10-20 minutes in extremely hot (not boiling) water, then use them whole or chopped in your favorite dishes. Taste the soaking liquid - you may not want to throw it away. You can always use it to enhance many of your favorite recipes. Feel free to use Chipotle Moritas in place of Chipotle Mecos or any other variety of smoked chili peppers. They’re interchangeable, depending on personal preference.
We believe these little chili peppers are so good, it’s far more likely that Peter Piper purchased a peck of Chipotle Morita peppers before pickling them. What do you think?