It starts with the indescribably almost intoxicating scent of chiles roasting that starts late in July and runs into October and our first frost. Under that spell,we have to take home roasted chiles and peel them and cook them in all the ways we can think of to savor that “I just gotta have seconds taste.
There are probably as many descriptions of the taste of chile as there are varieties of chile and people who taste it. Chile has been called lightly pungent, subtly sweet, spicy, crisp and even smokey. It might described one way when it is green, a second way when it is red and ripe, and yet more ways when way when it is dried or ground into a powder. It can be difficult to separate taste from heat when describing it. Ultimately the taste of Hatch chiles is derived from the soils and climate of the Hatch Valley which is the perfect environment for growing them.
Fresh Chile Co. chile taste varies by variety, ripeness when picked and processed and the particular form the are in. Fortunately their packaging helps the shopper sort through both the heat and flavors of their products.
Taste belongs to a complex chemical sensing system of nerves and specialized cells in taste buds on the tongue and in the mouth and throat. Other nerve endings on the moist surfaces of the eyes, nose, mouth and throat detect sensations such as the sting of ammonia, coolness of mint and menthol and the “hot” of chile peppers.
Scientists recognize five basic taste sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. Umami is a savory sensation, which it not as readily recognized as distinct, but underscores other flavors. These sensations in the mouth and throat and the eye, nose work together 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 us begin to separate our thoughts about taste and heat in our chile peppers. Use a clean, raw long green chile pepper and take a small bite off the pointy end. There’s a “green” taste there, but no heat. Take a few more small bites, and 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 Co. we use five varieties of peppers with heat ranging from mild through medium, medium-hot, hot and Xtra 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 as well.
Our different tastes each are available at different heats levels. Our sauces, Pure Green Chile
Roast, Red Chile Sauce, Red and Green Chile Blend and Papa’s Salsa and Mama’s Salsa all come in four heat levels. Abuela’s Traditional Sauce comes in three heat levels and our Red Chile Roast Sauce (temporarily out of stock) is only available in hot. Our red and green chile powders are available in medium and hot and our posole seasoning and Hatch Spice blend are at a single heat level.
It is the season for fresh chile and we are happy to ship you fresh picked Hatch Chile and many other delicious products. Please check freshchileco.com for varieties, heat levels, quantities and prices. We’ll be shipping frozen roasted and peeled green chiles soon. Quantities will be limited. Order yours soon.
How do Hatch Chiles and products from Fresh Chile Co. taste? They’re so good you’ll be begging for seconds.