Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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What is The Fresh Chile Company Satisfaction Guarantee?

We have a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied, send us an email at or a message on our Facebook page to get a full refund.

What does the designation “Hatch” mean?

When you see the designation “Hatch” or “Hatch Valley” Chile, it indicates that the Chile Pepper Plant is grown in a certain region of Southern New Mexico. Many people believe the soil and natural environment in the Hatch Valley give the crops a special taste. Different types of Chile Peppers are grown all over the world, and some varieties of New Mexico Chile are grown and packaged in other states such as Arizona, California and Colorado. New Mexico law 25-11-3. Unlawful advertising, labeling, or selling of non-New Mexico Chile assures the authenticity of Chile labeled New Mexico Chile to be New Mexico grown. The Hatch Valley stretches along the Rio Grande River from Arrey, New Mexico, south to Tonuco Mountain, southeast of the town of Hatch, and into the Rincon area. It is said that the soil and climate of the area contribute to the especially pleasing flavor of the chilies. We always recommend that your Chile of choice be Hatch Chile.

What is Chile?

Chile, the fruit from Chile Peppers (Capsicum annuum), is a spicy enhancement to the flavor of food and a food in and of itself. Chile is a New Mexican tradition for any meal. It comes in many forms:

  • Freshly picked from the field and used quickly.
  • Processed into a jar with that same great fresh taste when opened.
  • Frozen so that when defrosted that great Chile flavor is realized.
  • Dried so it can be reconstituted into great tasting food.
  • Powered into a spice which is added as the flavor is desired.


What is the difference between Chile, Chili and Chilly?

While pronounced the same way, there is a huge difference. “Chile” refers to the peppers and “Chili” describes Chili powder, beans, onions and other flavorings. Often, it is called Chili con Carne–Chili with Meat. One way to describe the difference: Chile is an ingredient and Chili is a meal. Both words came from Mexico centuries ago and can be interchanged without changing the good taste of either. Chilly is what winter is like in Minnesota.

It’s so cold where I live that my Chile Sauce arrived frozen solid! Will it still taste good? Is it safe to consume?

Our sauces freeze well, so the flavor should be fine. If any of the jars are cracked or broken, please contact us. Also, once they have thawed and you begin using them, if the jars are not properly sealed when you open them (indicated by the lack of the little pop sound you would normally hear when opening a properly sealed jar), then that would indicate that freezing has broken the seal that is important for food safety. If that is the case, please don’t consume, but do contact us for replacement.

What is the difference between Green Chile and Red Chile?

All Chile Pepper plants produce Green Peppers at first. If the Peppers are not picked, over several months the Peppers will turn Red. Same plant, just more time on the vine. There is a taste difference even with the same variety of Chile Plant Pepper when it is green or turns red. Some of the varietals of Chile are more commercially successful as green or as red.

When Is Hatch Chile Season?

Typically, the Hatch Chile plants are planted in April, depending on soil temperature and environmental factors, and the Harvest Season is from the first harvests of the Mature Green Chile Peppers in early August until the first freeze, usually in November as that will finish the Red Chile Harvest. With the development of Chile Pepper Sauces and Salsa in bottles by The Fresh Chile Company, the Hatch Chile Season in your kitchen is year-round.

How long does it take for my order to ship?

Orders typically will be fulfilled within 7-10 business days and shipping takes 1-5 days, depending on the carrier. Unless you opt-out of emails, you will receive tracking information when your shipping label has been made. Note that with all our recent improvement in The Fresh Chile Company Shipping Department, we feel that the shipping of your order will be faster. Please let us know about the speed of your order.

Do you ship to Hawaii, Alaska, or APOs?

Happily, yes! Shipping rates should calculate automatically for you at checkout. You will also be able to track your shipment. The Fresh Chile Company strives to send the Flavor of our Southwest to those people living far away. For those with an APO, Thank you for your service.

Why does Chile taste Hot?

Chile Peppers (Capsicum Annuum) contain as the name implies, Capsicum, which describes the intensity of the Hatch Chile’s spicy taste and aroma. This determination is both objective and subjective. Objectively, there is a rating system for Chile Pepper Heat called the Scoville Scale which uses Scoville Heat Units (SHU). What is measured is the amount of Capsicum, a substance in Chile Pepper plants from the genus, Capsicum Annuum. The larger the SHU number, the more intense the sensation of Heat Taste. Example: a Bell Pepper has no Heat Taste since it contains no Capsicum. A Hatch Sandia Pepper rates 7,000 SHU. Pure Capsicum has 16 million SHU. Subjectively, Chile Heat Taste is what you, yourself, make of it. It completely depends upon your own taste buds and how over the years they have become accustomed to eating Chile. At first, when you start eating Chile, you may prefer a Mild Chile variety such as Machete or 1904 variety. That Mild variety will initially seem Hot to you. As it should. Then one day you may find that eating your normal variety of Mild Chile just does not give enough kick to the taste. You probably will then move to Medium heat such as the Chile variety, Charger. Later, after many more Chile meals, if the Medium does no longer have enough Chile kick, you may move to a Hot Chile variety such as G76. It is all your taste buds at work. We each have a Heat Taste range that we find most enjoyable. If too hot, your palate cannot savor the rich Chile flavor and all you sense is an overwhelming burn. The heat should complement the Chile flavor. With Heat Taste, there is a Chile afterglow, a lasting satisfied sense of culinary enjoyment after the Heat Taste subsides. To me it is like what is called, The Runner’s High. I call it the Great Chile Heat Taste High. Yum!

Why do we Fire-Roast Green Chile?

This processing of just picked from the field Green Chile Peppers is known as “Fire-Roasting.” The outside waxy layer is quickly scorched to a char, allowing the removal of the outer skin without damaging the insides. The plant produces a waxy coating to keep moisture inside the Chile Pepper while it is growing. Fire-Roasting prepares the outer skin for removal and gives the Chile meat a wonderful smokey flavor. The Fire-Roasting can be done commercially in a large propane fired drum or, if preferred, the Fire-Roasting can be done in each individual home.

How can you Fire-Roast Green Chile at home?

  1. On the Stove Burner

    Usually when only doing a few Chile Peppers, the burner on the gas stove works fine. It is important to rotate the Chile Peppers constantly so that the flame chars the outside but doesn’t burn the insides. It is best to use tongs. Nitrile gloves can be handy.

  1. Using the Stove’s Oven Broiler

    Care must be taken to make sure that the Chile is rotated often to keep from burning the insides. A close watch must be kept on the Chile Peppers while they roast to not over scorch the Peppers. Tongs really help.

  1. On the Backyard Gas Grill.

    This works well if the heat is sufficient to char the outsides quickly and then the Chile Peppers are moved off the flame. With most grills, it is easy to see when the Pepper outsides are blackened. All three home roasting methods take some practice to become proficient at them. But the taste and importantly, the aroma of just Fire-Roasted Chile is well worth the effort. Warning. Do not touch your face, especially your eyes with Green Chile juice on your fingers because it really burns. One solution is to use Nitrile gloves which are inexpensive and if you stop, you can discard them and put new gloves on when you resume. Of course, if your eyes itch and you are wearing gloves… don’t touch your face until after you take off the gloves. Chile juice and oil does not wash off easily. It is best to use Isopropyl Alcohol on your hands to remove the Chile Juice and oil. Then use soap and water to remove the Isopropyl Alcohol.

Can we pick our own Chile Peppers?

Sorry, it is a very well-disciplined professional crew that picks our Green and Red Chile. The farmer doesn’t have anyone else pick the peppers. But I suspect there are always some places, perhaps at New Mexico State University or someone’s backyard where Chile can be picked.

Can we tour The Fresh Chile Company?

Oh, yes. We love to give tours. In fact, send a request to Michael Swickard (that is me) at We have a large operation in Las Cruces and will also talk about what it takes to grow the Chile that we use in Hatch, New Mexico, The Chile Capital of the World.

What is the concept of Heat Taste?

When it comes to eating and enjoying New Mexico’s Chile Peppers, there is something that must be experienced to really understand. It is the personal and individual experience of Heat Taste. Completely subjective, what from the same bowl of Green Chile Stew is pure ambrosia for one person may be painfully unpleasant to someone else. Same bowl. Those who repeatedly eat Chile know there is an accumulation process where the first time a person ever eats a Chile Pepper, regardless of variety, it has a notable Heat Taste. After eating said variety for a while, receptors in the person’s mouth do not cry, “Fire, Fire, Fire” as much as they first did. In fact, because of the endorphin afterglow effect with Chile Peppers, the person may feel that they need a Chile Pepper with more Heat Taste than before. They move to Medium Heat. Later, perhaps to Hot or even XHot. It is completely individual. Most people after a few years settle on a Heat Taste range that they find stimulating and enjoyable. It does not overpower the savory taste of the Chile variety while still giving them a good Chile Buzz and an afterglow of satisfaction.

If you get Chile that sets your mouth on fire, what to do?

Hopefully you took only a small bite of whatever Chile covered food. If so, the best thing to do is eat a dairy product, Cheese, or Milk. Or a spoonful of sugar helps. No, don’t drink water. Doesn’t help much. You can also chew on a tortilla for relief. We have been there going, “Wow, that’s Hot.”

Is the Dijon Mustard hot?

On the outside of the Jar, it proclaims the Dijon Mustard to be Hot. And from all of us using the great condiment, I must say that we love the Hot Heat Taste along with grainy Mustard flavor. Just marvelous.

How hot is the Hatchup?

Our very special Hatchup It is a medium Heat Taste level so you are sure to get the kick while also enjoying fully the taste of Ketchup and Red Chile in a delightful combination. I find after having Hatchup, regular Ketchup just does not meet my taste requirements.

Which Hatch Chile is the hottest?

We use G76 for our hottest Chile, which is also very flavorful. It does not overpower the savory taste of the Chile variety while still giving a good Chile Buzz and an afterglow of satisfaction.

Is there Chile in the Salsa?

While our Salsa often has other ingredients, Chile is the star of good tasting Salsa. We have Papa's Chunky Hatch Chile Salsa, Mama's Blended Hatch Chile Salsa, Hatch Jalapeño Salsa Verde, Hatch Jalapeño Salsa, and Hatch Jalapeño Salsa Roja. All our Salas have other ingredients, but the star, the Chile, needs to be tasted to really be appreciated.

Which Chile is best for cooking?

It depends on what you are cooking. For most of us it is an ongoing experiment as to which Chile tastes best with which food. Join our Fresh Chile Cookin' Facebook Group where members have shared thousands of recipes featuring Fresh Chile products! I enjoy trying the recipes.

Why do some products say heat to 165 degrees?

With an abundance of caution, some ingredients in the rubs and powders are best consumed after they have been heated to 165 degrees.

What is the shelf life of unopened jars?

Before opening, jars remain fresh for 24 months from manufacturing, and you can find an exact expiration date on the bottom of each jar. Do keep it in your refrigerator once you have opened it!

What is the typical time an opened jar in the refrigerator is good?

Because our Jarred Chile is made without any artificial preservatives, they only stay good in the refrigerator, once opened, just 7-10 days. We are committed to keeping our sauces pure and delicious, but that means they should be consumed or frozen in 7–10 days after opening to maintain the integrity of the sauce. (Filling up an ice tray with the remainder of your jar is a handy way to have little amounts to defrost for tacos, soups, etc.!)

How does the Club Memberships work?

Your order for Chile products will ship out every 2 months, or the interval of your choosing. By subscribing you are given the highest discount we make available, reserved only for our Club Members!

  • 20% Off Select Products, just look for "Subscribe & Save" button
  • No minimum order and you can adjust the products and quantities as needed—just login to your customer portal.
  • Notified first for new or limited-edition products.

What’s the most popular Chile in a Jar at the Fresh Chile Company?

Most of us grew up with Green and Red Chile. The delight was Green Chile fresh from the field in Chile Rellenos and on Enchiladas. Our Pure Green Jar is the most popular. But we should note that the blend of Red and Green is fast becoming a customer favorite.

As part of your products, you have Honey. What is the new offering?

The Fresh Chile Company sells regular Mesilla Valley Honey from a local beekeeper. We have just added to our product line: Hatch Hot Honey which combines the great taste of honey with Red Chile. It must be tried to really be appreciated. Order some today and thank me tomorrow.

What’s the difference between Fresh Red Chile & Sun-Dried Chile?

Owner Randy McMillan says, “To my knowledge, we are the only company that makes Red Chile sauce from Fresh Red Chile commercially. Fresh Red Chile is only available from Hatch, New Mexico, for about 30 days out of every year, and that is why no other company even tries to make it this way. At the Fresh Chile Company, we work six days a week, 24 hours each day, when Hatch Chile is available to process enough Chile for the whole year.” That is not to downgrade Sun-Dried Chile which has excellent taste. For many people it is like traveling in Mexico and eating that fantastic food. Both Fresh Red and Sun-Dried are wonderful. Each of us has a favorite.

What is the difference between Mama’s and Papa’s Chile?

Papa's Chunky Hatch Chile Salsa and Mama's Blended Hatch Chile Salsa have many of the same ingredients. However, there is a texture issue because Papa’s is Chunky and Mama’s is Blended. I find Papa’s is best for dipping Chips into while watching the NMSU Aggies play on television and Mama’s is great on Enchiladas to celebrate after the Aggies win.

Where can I find your products in my town?

We are located in stores all over our hometown of Las Cruces, New Mexico. We are also in Albuquerque, Artesia, Taos, and Farmington, New Mexico, a few Natural Grocers in Arizona, and some markets in Texas! You can always contact Customer Service for help finding a store near you. Call: 575-800-8284 or Email:

Written by Michael Swickard, PH.D.

Dr. Michael Swickard

© 2023 The Fresh Chile Company