There’s a mystique about Hatch Chile. The name comes from the Hatch Valley that runs from Arrey, New Mexico south to Tonuco Mountain southeast of Hatch, New Mexico. Through eons of time soils of this valley have developed and created an area that produces especially flavorful chiles of several different varieties and heat levels. To be called Hatch Chile, chile peppers must be grown in the valley. A state law, passed in 2012 prohibits sale, in New Mexico, of chiles described as “New Mexican” unless they are grown in New Mexico or have a prominent “Not grown in New Mexico” disclaimer.
Heritage chile plants from New Mexico have been used to develop modern chile pepper types by horticulturist pioneers starting in 1894 at what at the institutio now called New Mexico State University. The University’s Chile Pepper Institute continues chile research and development
When we think of Hatch Chile, we thing of long green chile cultivars. In 1894, a farmer took seed of a cultivar if “New Mexico No. 9” from New Mexico to the area near Anaheim, California. Now Anaheim cultivars grow in many areas. They resemble the New Mexico chiles they started from, but are not exactly the same and have a milder heat level than some of their New Mexico chile relatives.
Several varieties of chile are grown throughout New Mexico and many are known by regional names such as Chimayo, Espanola, Bosque and more. The chiles varieties and cultivars have their own tastes based on their soil types and climate.
Thanks to horticultural research and modern farming techniques, we have a good growing season for Hatch Chiles. Most farmers will grow chiles in a field every six years. Different crops are growing in other years to return nutrients to the soil.
Hatch chiles start to ripen in mid to late July and on into fall, depending on their varieties.
Fresh Chile Co. starts harvesting and roasting their chiles in late July. The company ships fresh picked chiles across the country throughout the harvest season and at the times each heat level variety is ready. While chiles are being shipped fresh, others are being roasted and processed into a line of chile sauces and salsa that are available year ‘round. Others are being frozen to be shipped throughout the year until they are sold out.
Fresh Chile Co, products ranging from fresh chiles, to sauces, salsas, and seasoning powders can put chile on the table at every meal. There are even chile sparked candied nuts available for cool weather shipping.
New products are added regularly. Fresh chiles that have turned red on the vine are roasted and made into a chile sauce in four different heat levels. It is a richer deeper flavor than roasted green chile making it a difficult choice to order red or green. Sometimes New Mexicans get both and call it Christmas so people can choose which to enjoy!
A new Hatch Spice seasoning powder can perk up anything your sprinkle it on or stir it into. It joins our red and green chile powers and our popular posole seasoning.
Check out Fresh Chile Co. products and recipes online at freshchileco.com.