Today, the Jalapeno is one of the most commonly used and consumed peppers. Not only is it used as a garnish or a topping, but it is also used to make powders, and used for several recipes which are popular in the US and in other areas around the world.
The use of the Jalapeno dates back as far as the Aztecs, who were known to smoke the chiles. Since they are so thick, and have such a fleshy skin, the Jalapeno cannot be dried to preserve, as it will rot after sitting out for a couple of days.
The Jalapeno is one of the most commonly grown chiles in Mexico, and today it is one of the most commonly used and grown in the US as well. The name is taken from the term Jalapa, which is the capital of Veracruz, Mexico. The size of these chiles range anywhere from 2 to 2.5 inches in length, and are about 1 inch around.
As it is one of the most versatile chile peppers, there are several different uses for the Jalapeno in different cuisines, for various different regions around the world, not only in Mexico and in the US. It can be roasted, pickled, filled, or stuffed, making a wide range of culinary options. The Jalapeno can also be diced and used in a salsa of some sort, or can be used in the pickled form as a condiment for different foods and garnishes.
The Jalapeno pepper is sometimes used fresh in the chile pepper form. Then can be store bought and refrigerated for a few days (without going bad or rotting). Many people eat the chile raw in this manner, while others will cut it, and use it as a topping for other foods.
Another use for the Jalapeno is to make it in to a powder substance. It is not very useful in many recipes, and does not add much flavor or taste, but it is a great option if you are looking to add some heat to the meals you are preparing. Whether you want to add spice, or whether you do not have access to a fresh chile, you can use the powder to add some heat to whatever meals you are making.
The Jalapeno can also be used whole (chipotle). They are generally dried out and then smoked, and you can purchase them in this form in supermarkets. When prepared in this manner it is best served as a heat additive (in things like rice, beans, or even on any meats you prepare)
A final use for the Jalapeno is en Escabeche (canned or jarred). The chile is pickled and it is then used to create a liquid substance in order to add as a garnish, or to add some heat to any foods you are making. There are recipes you can use, or you can purchase it directly at an Ethnic market.
Regardless of the levels of heat you want, any of these forms will add differing levels of heat, depending on how the Jalapeno is prepared and served.