Some people say that there is a Southwestern mystique about Hatch Valley Chile. How can one relatively small area in Southern New Mexico provide such utterly delicious world class Green and Red Chile? Answer: it does.
The geographical name comes from the Hatch Valley that runs from Arrey, New Mexico south to Tonuco Mountain southeast of Hatch, New Mexico. The Hatch Valley borders to the east the historic Camino Real, the route established by the Spanish between Chihuahua, Mexico and Santa Fe, New Mexico. It carried nearly all the traffic between Mexico and New Mexico for over 250 years. Today, Hatch, New Mexico, is the Chile Capital of the World! At least so says my New Mexico License Plate. And I do believe it.
Through eons of time, the soil of this valley developed and created a fertile growing region that produces especially flavorful Chile Peppers of many varieties and heat levels. To be called Hatch Chile, the Chile Pepper Plants must be grown in the valley. Further, a state law, passed in 2012, prohibits the sale of Chiles described as “New Mexican” unless grown in New Mexico. Otherwise, they must have a prominent “Not grown in New Mexico” disclaimer.
Traditional Chile plants from Mexico and New Mexico were used to develop the current modern Chile pepper varieties. Early Horticulturist Pioneer, Dr. Fabián García was in the 1894 first graduating class of what is now New Mexico State University. In 1913 he released his first Chile Pepper, New Mexico 9, which is linked to most current varieties of New Mexico Chile Peppers.
García and his researchers combined a couple of local peppers to create a milder pepper. With new residents coming to New Mexico, traditional peppers were too hot. There was also a desire for smoother Chile Peppers that would ship in a container better. New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute continues Chile research and development.
Hatch Chiles start to ripen in mid to late July and into the fall, depending on variety. Red Chile is just Green Chile that is kept on the vine until it turns Red.
Fresh Chile Co. starts harvesting and roasting their Chiles in late July. The company ships fresh picked Chiles across the country throughout the harvest. While Chiles are being shipped fresh, others are roasted and processed into Chile sauces and salsa available all year.
The Fresh Chile Company, products ranging from fresh Chiles, to sauces, salsas, and seasoning powders which can put delicious Red, Green or a blend of both Red and Green Chile on the table for every meal. Also check out our recipes area where we provide our recipes and customers send in theirs.
Check out The Fresh Chile Company products and recipes online, Here.
Written By Michael Swickard, Ph.D.