It is an odd thing, but everyone seems to want green Jalapeños chillies, but at the end of the growing season they are starting to turn red before they can be picked and sold, at this point there market value as a fresh product is about as low as it gets.
The wise farmers then either let then ripen fully until they are a deep red, at which point they are picked and and placed in a smoker and smoked until the almost all the moisture is removed and until the weight of the product has been reduced 90% drying and preserving them.
If fact smoking is really a way of dehydrating and preserving the crop, Jalapeños are hard to sun dry due to their thick flesh and tough skin, they would just rot if left to dry naturally.
There are at least two distinct varieties of Chipotles:-
Meco – The skins are a tan/grayish colour and a matt finish, they are far less common, they are also know as tipico or ahumado
Morita – They are dark purple with a shiny skin and are probably the most common outside Mexico, they are not as deeply smoked as the Meco Chipotles and are generally considered and inferior, cheaper product.
We are used them when we made our Hot Juan range of products in both our BBQ Rub and Crisps, they are mild in heat (but hotter that the Jalapeños due to the reduction in moisture)
I have always wondered how to pronounce them, the best I have phonetics found is “chip-oat-lay”
They are available from most of the online retailers please see www.chillipepperpete.com, Cool Chile Co www.Hot Headz.com and www.scorchio.com
Almost anything is available of eBay, In the past few years I have even seen “Chipotle Seeds” for sale. I did ask the seller how this was possible, but did not get a reply, I have not seem then for sale again.