Many folks are confused by the fact that we offer more than one kind of chipotle in our stores.
The most common or traditional form of chipotle is smoked red jalapeno (chipotle morita), however chipotle is really any variety of smoked, dehydrated chile. In Mexico, chipotle is typically smoked on open pits. It is best when done on mesquite wood. The process takes 7-10 days for any real volume. Each batch must be turned as it is smoked every 3-4 hours to ensure that the top of the pile is smoked as much as the bottom of the pile. This process by it’s nature is inconsistant. Many chile’s get burned and many stay soft. This inconsistancy is part of the joy of using fresh chipotle in your recipes.
Commercial food manufacturing cannot have their recipes tasting different each time so they try to limit these inconsistencies. Unlike product made in Mexico, chipotle and other types of chile that are processed in the United States are required to meet standards. Fortunately, chile does not normally carry too many harmful bacteria unless exposed elsewhere or adulterated. Once dehydrated most chile products or blends are very stable and have little chance of going bad.