From Segovia, La Chipotlera has opened a differential gap in the fresh hot pepper and chili sauce segment. "La Chipotlera is the last step of our adventure in agriculture. We started as an organic-product orchard growing traditional vegetables, such as tomatoes, green beans, and sweet peppers, among others. Then, in 2011, Punto MX -the first Mexican restaurant to get a Michelin star- asked us if we could grow hot peppers, green tomatillo, and jalapeños," stated Luis García, CEO of the company.
"Achieving the quality required by the hospitality sector is very hard. In Spain, you can get these products brined or packaged. However, what the restaurant sector demanded was a fresh product of high organoleptic quality. After many tests and a lot of learning, we managed to develop a stable production process, which -despite the fact that in Segovia, we have late frosts in spring and early frosts in autumn- involved opting for outdoor cultivation to meet their quality demands."
"We grow different varieties: poblano chili, guajillo, huero, serrano, and jalapeño. At first, we marketed them fresh. However, to take advantage of surplus production and peppers that turned red, we began to process hot peppers, mainly making dehydrated and smoked peppers. In fact, we make chipotle from jalapeño and red serrano peppers following a unique process in Europe based on low-temperature smoking with oak wood."
"We in Spain understand smoke very well, so the chipotle, which has a medium itch that is -in general- very well accepted throughout Europe, has many applications. There are already dairy companies that are making cheeses with our chipotles, and even some factories in Segovia are making chipotle beer, among many other tests in which our chili peppers are being used," Luis stated.
"Europe is starting to integrate these hot spices into its gastronomy, and our premise is to accompany this process with a quality product, made with very careful processes, maintaining our essence and our cooking techniques."
"You can already find us in the hospitality and haute cuisine sector. Our product is used by renowned chefs such as Dabiz Muñoz Enrique Olvera at the Jerónimo restaurant in Madrid, Quique Dacosta, Pepe Rodríguez, and Rueda de Martín Berasategui's gastrobodega. But we also reach the end consumers through our hot sauces."
"In Spain, we are already very present in retail, organic stores, and gourmet stores... Today, we received the first order from the Herbolario Navarro chain, and now we are going abroad. We're currently working with a distributor in Bristol, United Kingdom, reaching all of Central Europe through a Belgian importer. In addition, we have sold our sauces to customers throughout Europe, the United States, and Canada through our online sales platform."
Illustrator Sergio Mora designed the attractive image of La Chipotlera sauces.
"Twelve years ago, it was extremely difficult to find chili seeds in Spain"
Mexican and Asian cuisines have contributed to the introduction and understanding of spicy food in Europe and its integration into haute cuisine, stated Luis García. "Producers have followed suit."
"When we started producing spicy peppers 12 years ago, it was extremely difficult to find seeds in Spain, even of jalapeño chili, which is the world's most consumed spicy pepper. Now, everything has changed and there is more movement and supply of hot peppers practically all year round."
"There's a lot of competition from strong producers such as Morocco, Algeria, and Turkey, which sell at low prices, but the market for chili peppers and hot peppers is a booming market and still has a lot of potential for us in Spain."
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