View Full Version : The Chipotle Phenomenon
06-10-2003, 10:27 AM
In case you haven't noticed, every time you turn around you bump into chipotle. Jack in the Box has chipotle burgers; Subway has chipotle sandwiches; Tabasco is coming out with chipotle-flavored sauce.
None of which existed a few months ago.
How does a new flavor, or condiment, or whatever chipotle is, become ubiquitous so fast? Was there a chipotle booth at the last fast food convention?
06-10-2003, 10:32 AM
Chipotles are smoked jalapeņos, and are of ancient lineage. They've been available at fast-food outlets and grocery stores in the Southwest for quite a while, and are just getting a little national exposure now.
06-10-2003, 10:46 AM
I've been using them in tamales for years now.
06-10-2003, 10:47 AM
There's a Chipotle restaurant near my work (kind of like a Baja Fresh, but a little less industrial). They make a good burrito barbacoa.
06-10-2003, 11:04 AM
I saw these when I was in the States a couple of months ago, but I never tried them 'cos I didn't have a clue how to pronounce them, and didn't want to expose myself as an ignorant limey. (Like the bad teeth wouldn't give it away ;) )
Actually, I seem to remember one place (Jack in the Box?) had adverts up that specifically mentioned that they were "Difficult to Pronounce, Easy to Love" or something equally trite.
Anyway, just in case I ever go back, how do you pronounce it? I assume it's a Spanish word, so ought to be "chip-OT-lay", but I know the American tongue happily bends most Hispanic names into more manageable shapes.
06-10-2003, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by jsc1953
How does a new flavor, or condiment, or whatever chipotle is, become ubiquitous so fast?
WAG, but two general reasons:
1) Fast Food market always looking for a new niche product to corner market and boost sales or making the old look new.
2) Growing Mexican/Mexican-American community requires repackaging food products to corner that market.
06-10-2003, 11:15 AM
Actually, the Tabasco chipotle sauce has been out for more than a few months. I've got a bottle sitting on my shelf that I know I bought at least a year ago; probably a little longer (although admittedly, maybe they were test marketing it out here).
Chipotle, the flavor, is not new. But you are right; the food industry can sometimes seem like the fashion industry where a new trend will catch on seemingly all at once and everyone is doing it.
06-10-2003, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by r_k
Anyway, just in case I ever go back, how do you pronounce it?The subject of an entire thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=166184) not too long ago!
06-10-2003, 12:03 PM
Just a clarification -- I didn't want this to sound like a pointless Andy Rooney rant; I'm interested in this as a study in mass marketing. Do all food bottlers/fast food retailers read the same marketing surveys? Go to the same conventions? Did a chipotle salesman walk down Madison Ave one day and hit the jackpot?
Harriet the Spry
06-10-2003, 08:04 PM
jsc1953, you've got the gist of it. There are specific conventions devoted to the introduction on new and gourmet food products. Restaurants and stores send buyers to these conventions to keep up with trends.
Also, farmers/ agribusinesses that produce a specific product will pool their money to help raise the profile of their product. Famous examples would be the American Dairy Association and the "Got Milk?" campaign. A smaller-scale approach to this would be sponsoring cooking contests using a specific ingredient, then publishing the recipes to make the product well known and give people a reason to buy it for the first time.
A chipotle tip - usually you will only need one or 2 out of the can. Freeze the leftovers on waxed paper for future use.
06-10-2003, 09:08 PM
Two more chipotle tips -- throw the can into the blender. Err, the contents of the can. Splash some worchestershire, some crushed-up garlic, a little salt, and some black pepper. Makes the best BBQ sauce you could think of.
#2 - make some honey-mustard dressing (equal quantities of honey and mustard [dijon good!]). Add to that an equal quantity of canned chipotles (doubling the quantity), and mix it up good. That's Good Eats. Well, not alone, but as a salsa.
06-10-2003, 09:36 PM
Man, I've been cooking steaks with chipolte sauce for at least 10 years! I for one, am glad it's catching on...maybe I can get a great steak at a restaurant now! ;)
I've been buying "Bufalo Salsa Chilpotle" (yes, one 'f' and an extra 'l') for years. It seems to be from Mexico, although all it says is an address in San Lois Potosi, wherever that is, and imported by a company in Calgary. Good on just about anything!
06-11-2003, 05:57 AM
Chipotle restaurant chain is about to open in New York City....if they ever agree on the lease terms.
06-11-2003, 08:44 AM
Originally posted by rjk
San Lois Potosi
Yeah, that's Mexico, unless it really does say "Lois."
KFC spent millions developing some recipies and started a rollout. It died like a manatee on a highwire.
06-11-2003, 09:31 AM
The Tobasco Chipotle sauce is one of the best hot sauces on the market, IMHO. It's got a great balance between heat and flavor. I've been ordering it from their website for a year or so. Are they making it a mass market item?
06-11-2003, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by lieu
It died like a manatee on a highwire.
heh, heh ! :D What an image. I picture a manatee sliced in two.
06-11-2003, 11:40 AM
mmmmm sliced manatee grilles in chipotle sauce.
Of course the traditional method is to slice them with a boat prop.
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.