Chipotles are smoked jalapenos and are used primarily in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines. Jalapenos are from the species Capsicum annuum. The harder to find Chipotle "Meco" chiles are also known as Chile "Meco" or Chipotle Tipico.
While the Chipotle has become wildly popular in the U.S. in the last 10 years a true chilehead knows there is more than one type of Chipotle. There are actually two types of chipotle chiles - "Morita" and "Meco". Both the Morita and the Meco are smoked jalapenos.
The more commonly used in our country is the Chipotle "Morita" chile. "Morita" translates to "little blackberry" in Spanish, these chiles are the smaller of the two and are more leathery and pliable. The "Meco" is larger and stiffer with a grayish-tan coloring and is best described as looking like a cigar butt.
"Morita" Chipotles are picked when the jalapenos are still green and are then smoked. "Meco" Chipotle chiles are mature jalapenos that are left on the bush even longer than those that are picked as red jalapenos to be sold at various markets. This additional time on the bush results in an even deeper red color and as these chiles start losing their moisture they're then harvested to be transformed into "Meco" chipotles.
Scoville heat rating (SHU) of 5,000 - 10,000