New Mexico Hatch Valley Chile enjoyment begins with the wonderful scent of Chiles being Fire-Roasted. The smell starts in late July and continues to the first frost. We take home roasted Chiles, peel them, and cook them in all the culinary ways we learned to savor. You can learn all about that process, and a couple of ways you can do it at home, from our How to Fire-Roast Hatch Green Chiles.
There are as many descriptions of the taste of Green and Red Chile as there are varieties. Chile is described as lightly pungent, subtly sweet, spicy, crisp and smokey. One description when it is green, and a second when it is red. And, and yet more ways when it is dried or ground into a powder.
Ultimately the unique taste of Hatch Chiles is derived from the soils and climate of the Hatch Valley which is the perfect environment for growing them.
The Chile taste belongs to a complex chemical sensing system of nerves and specialized cells in taste buds on the tongue and in the mouth. Scientists recognize five basic taste sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory. These sensations send information to the brain which sorts them all and categorizes the tastes we know.
We generally think of Chiles in terms of heat. A simple taste test can help. Use a clean, raw long green Chile pepper and take a small bite off the pointy end. There’s a “green” taste, but no heat. Work your way up the Chile. Before long, you’ll find the beginning of its veins and get the sensation of heat. If you work your way up to the seeds attached to the veins, you’ll find even more heat! Think of the difference between the bites on the end and what happened when you bit the vein and seeds. You can remove the veins and seed from a Chile pepper to reduce the heat of it. There will still be some heat where the veins and seeds were attached.
At The Fresh Chile Company, we use varieties of peppers with heat ranging from mild through medium, medium-hot, hot and extra hot to please all palates. Our products have heat levels on their labels to help you find the level you like. This applies to our sauces and salsas and our powdered and blended items.
Our different tastes each are available at different heats levels. Our sauces, Pure Green Chile Roast, Fresh Hatch Red Chile Sauce, Red and Green Chile Blend and Papa's Chunky Hatch Chile Salsa and Mama's Blended Hatch Chile Salsa all come in four heat levels.
Every day is the season for Chile. We ship many Chile related delicious products. Please visit The Fresh Chile Company for varieties, heat levels, quantities, and prices. Order your favorite Chile soon.
Written by Michael Swickard, Ph.D.