Jalapeno Peppers

jalapeno chile
photo credit: gourmetsleuth

About Jalapeno Peppers

chile-heat-scaleThe Jalapeno is one of the most commonly grown chiles in Mexico and probably the most common chile pepper in the U.S. When the jalapeno is smoked and dried it is called a "chipotle".

The name "jalapeno" is derived from "Jalapa" the capitol of Veracruz, Mexico. The chiles average 2" to 2 1/2" in length and about 1" in diameter.

The use of this chile dates back to the Aztecs who were the first known to smoke the chiles. Jalapenos are so thick and fleshy that they can't be dried to preserve them because they'll rot before they will dry.

Heat Scale

The Jalapeno is considered a moderate to hot chile or a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the hottest). 

Jalapeno Uses And Product Types

The Jalapeno is very versatile and is used fresh, roasted, filled, as well as pickled. It can be diced and used in fresh salsas and pico de gallo or atop any dish where a little extra "heat" is desired. The pickled versions are commonly used as a condiment.

  • Jalapeno Peppers, Fresh - Select chiles that are firm and smooth. A wrinkled chile means it is old. As with most produce jalapenos are best used fresh but you can store them for several days, refrigerated. See the where to buy section for purchasing information.
  • Jalapeno Powder - A few companies offer a Jalapeno powder although it is not particularly useful. It will add heat to food but not a lot of flavor.
  • Jalapeno Chiles, Whole Dried (Chipotle) - As mentioned before, in the dried and smoked form, the jalapeno is called "chipotle" and is available in Mexican markets and online.
  • Jalapenos en Escabeche - Available in cans or jars in most Mexican and many non-ethic grocery stores. La Morena is one of the best quality products and La Costena and Herdez are quite popular as well. If you like to make your own, fresh, here is a recipe. (Jalapenos en Escabeche)

Where To Buy

Jalapenos have become ubiquitous and are available in most grocery stores, canned, pickled and fresh.   Jalapeno powder is harder to find but it is available online.  Jansal Valley Jalapeno Powder, 16 Ounce

Nutrition Information For Jalapeno Peppers

Serving Size
1 cup, sliced
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 1mg
Total Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A  0% Vitamin C  0%
Calcium  0% Iron  0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Grow Your Own

Jalapenos are easy to grow if you have a sunny spot in your yard.  You can either grow them from seed or purchase small plants.  Check your local nursery or try these sources.

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of GourmetSleuth.com she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.