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.