Jalpeno chiles are thick, leathery dark green or red chiles that contains quite a bit of heat. The 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. On a relative heat scale of 1-10 the jalapeno is about a 5.5.
If you don't have jalapeno chiles then the best substitutes are:
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