Fire-roasted ripe jalapeno chili peppers are traditionally used in Mexican and Central American dishes, and are popular in American Southwest cuisine. The use of chipotle pepper -- dried jalapenos -- has crossed over into mainstream cooking and is added to sauces, stews and soups. A&P uses it to flavor its packaged barbecue ribs. "Those that know this flavor, love it!" said Jane Ellerton, corporate brand director for A&P Canada, who said she uses it to spice up her scrambled eggs.
Ellerton said Master Choice's Chipotle Pepper Puree was added when the chain redesigned its ingredient line to include several garlic formulations and a ginger puree.
"There was nothing in the marketplace with chipotle as an ingredient for our consumers to add to their own recipes," she said.
The tasting panel was impressed with the sauce. "It had a great kick of chipotle," said Tom Stephens, one of the jurors. "It had great texture and taste. And it was quite sort of luxurious."
Ellerton said the chipotle puree was introduced in November 2004 after four months of development. Sold for $10.99 for a 125-gram glass jar, it is merchandised in the produce department and available in about 240 stores in Ontario. The sauce is shelf-stable, but must be refrigerated after being opened. It is described as a premium product that fits the Master Choice branding strategy. It is supported through Master Choice's promotional program, and is featured through fliers, inserts and shelf tags.