Chipotles (pronounced chee-POHT-lays) are smoke-dried jalapeño chilis used primarily in Mexican- and Mexican-inspired cuisine.
There are hundreds of varieties of jalapeños, which vary in size and heat. In Mexico, the jalapeño is also known as the cuaresmeño, huachinango, and gordo. Until recently, chipotles were almost exclusively found in the markets of central and southern Mexico. As Mexican food became more popular in the United States in the late 20th century, jalapeño production began to move into Northern Mexico and the United States.