The Jalapeno is one of the best known chile peppers and is most widely used chile pepper in the United States. It is a thick-fleshed pepper with a hot green vegetable flavor.
The Jalapeno Chile is named after the city of Xalapa [Jalapa] in the state of Veracruz in Mexico, and appears in all sorts of Latin cooking, because of its spicy-but-not-too-hot flavor. The use of the Jalapeno chile dates all the way back to the Aztecs.
On the mild end of the hot pepper spectrum, Jalapeno chiles have 2,500 - 8,000 Scoville heat units. [By point of comparison, Habanero Chiles, at the other end of the spectrum weigh in at a face-melting 100K - 300K Scoville units]. The Jalapeno chile's flavor is akin to a lightly hot bell pepper. The dried Jalapeno chile is a Chipotle Chile.
Use Jalapeno chile in eggs, salsa, cornbread and other corn dishes, and in jambalaya, soups and stews.
Diced Jalapeno chiles are 1/4" pieces of whole Jalapeno peppers. Shake them onto pizza, spaghetti, taco or burrito meat. Use them in salsa or corn bread.
Jalapeno chile powder is made from grinding whole jalapenos, both seeds and pod. Powdered Jalapeno chile is a tasty component in sauces, chili, salsa and adds a little zing when sprinkled over vegetables, chicken, chops, ribs, or eggs. It's also a great secret ingredient for chip dips and Bloody Marys.
Little-known fact: In 1982, Jalapeno chiles were the first chiles to be taken into space.