Take the Heat

Bring Cemitas Puebla's addictive chipotle sauce home

We've found the antidote to drab Thanksgiving leftovers. It comes from Mexico, by way of Humboldt Park's Cemitas Puebla.

The star of the shop's cemita, a meaty sandwich from the city of Puebla layered with avocado and cheese, is the smoky, spicy chipotle sauce slathered across the bun. Cemitas' owners began bottling the sauce ($6 for 8 ounces) last month, and it's now available for purchase at the Humboldt Park taqueria.

It's a staggeringly flavorful concoction that's made across many miles: The father of owner Tony Anteliz flies to Puebla on a near-monthly basis to source dried chipotle Morita peppers.

Once in Chicago, they're simmered for eight hours with bay, thyme, oregano, vinegar and tepache, a fermented pineapple-and-sugar drink that Anteliz makes in-house. The mixture is then pureed with olive oil and salt and bottled. It'll keep two weeks–if it lasts that long.

At Cemitas, the russet sauce adorns cemitas and tacos arabes, a Pueblan specialty of spit-roasted pork and onions wrapped in a thick flour tortilla. At home, we're eager to layer it with cranberry sauce and mayonnaise atop slices of turkey, dot it on eggs scrambled with onions and cilantro, and feel the burn.

Cemitas Puebla, 3619 W. North Ave.; 773-772-8435 or cemitaspuebla.com