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The word ‘chipotle’ originates from the Aztec word, “chīlpoctli”, which means ‘smoked chili’ — and that’s literally what Chipotle is. Jalapeño peppers grow on vines and remain green until they ripen. When the peppers are ripe, they turn into a vibrant shade of red, which are usually the preferred types for smoking. Then the jalapeños are picked, washed, and then smoked into the brown and wrinkled pepper you now know as chipotle. Smoking makes the jalapeños last longer and prevents rotting.
Chipotle peppers are popular in Mexican cuisine, and serve as great spice for roasted vegetables, tacos and burritos, enchiladas, as well as soups, sauces, salsa, and marinades. If you’d like to use the peppers in your recipe, we’ll show you the best stores to buy fresh chipotle pepper from.
What aisle would fresh chipotle pepper be in?
Chipotle peppers are mostly in the International or Ethnic foods aisle of most grocery stores and supermarkets. Since the peppers are primarily sourced from and used in Mexico, you will find them in that aisle with other foods items from countries outside the USA. The peppers are usually in cans around two inches tall beside canned tomatoes and other packaged vegetables. You’ll mostly find them in ground or powdered forms.
Stores like Walmart have signs within the aisle to indicate what foods each section carries. For example, “Italian”, “African”, “Jamaican”, and so on. Since grocery store layouts change frequently, and vary across locations, you may find chipotle peppers in a separate aisle for Canned goods.
But if you want to make your own chipotle, the Produce aisle is where you will find fresh jalapeño peppers for smoking. You can also find smoked jalapeños there. That aisle is where all the raw and unprocessed food items are. For example, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, and more.
Where to buy fresh chipotle peppers near you
The stores listed below sell chipotle pepper fresh. Some of them have online locators to help you find the right aisle in your region as store layouts continuously change. Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s are among the few that don’t offer delivery options on their website. Hence, you may need to use a food delivery app to shop conveniently.
Since chipotle is a spice for preparing food, it qualifies as a consumable product. Thus, it’s eligible for Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card purchase. We have a guide that lists what you can or can’t buy with EBT cards. Don’t know what EBT cards are and how they work? Read our explainer article on how to apply for the electronic food stamps online.
Ethnic food markets
Ethnic food markets are stores that are dedicated to selling foreign foods. They carry all sorts of groceries from African, Mexican, and Asian items to European foods. If you need suggestions on where to shop, these 10 Ethnic foods markets are reviewed to be the best.
Amazon sells a variety of spices, including its own brand of chipotle chili. You can order it online and the store will deliver it to you. If there’s an Amazon Fresh building near you, you can also stroll in and check for fresh jalapeños and chipotle peppers. Below are our favorite chipotle pepper brands:
- Dried smoked jalapeno
- Key ingredient in traditional Mexican cuisine
- Medium heat intensity, this chile adds a smoky, rich flavor to dishes such as salsas, chile, beans and rice and barbeque sauce
- All our products are blended when ordered to ensure the freshest product
- All natural; Vegetarian; Vegan
- High quality fresh spices from around the world
- Great for restaurants or food service or catering
- Great addition to many dishes. Packaging may vary.
Whole Foods Market
You can shop the 365 by Whole Foods Market crushed chipotle chile from Amazon since the store doesn’t offer delivery options on its website. In the brick and mortar stores, Whole Foods Market has brands like La Costeña in the Canned goods aisle.
Amazon sells La Costeña and Goya chipotles in Adobo sauce. They also have the powdered type from McCormick, among other brands. Use the website’s store locator feature to find the right aisle in your location.
Kroger has chipotle sauces and powdered chipotle. You can use the online store locator to find the right aisle near you. Delivery and pickup options are available, but only select products may be eligible for shipping.
Chipotle peppers are in the Mexican section of the International foods aisle. Use the store locator feature on the website to find the right aisle in your location.
Chipotle peppers are in the Grocery aisle at most Meijer stores. The website’s store locator will show you the right aisle in your location. Plus, you can get product recommendations if you need more spices to flavor your food with.
Chipotle is mildly hot, which makes it just right for cooking. The heat ranges from 2,500 to 5,000 on the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) scale — a chart that measures how hot peppers are. If you can’t find the peppers at your local grocery store, you should consider other options. Cayenne peppers are a good substitute for chipotle, but they’re hotter. You may want to use them in moderation. Start with grinding them, then add into your cooking in small amounts.
Moses Dzarmah is the founder of Grocerycorridor. Having worked in the grocery store for almost all his life. His colleagues called him the grocery hermit for his knowledge around the field that’s encompassing. Almost disturbing that he’d know every nitty gritty part associated to grocery stores. I decided to pen down as my colleagues will endearingly say with a slight mockery “wealth of experience”.