What is the Difference Between Hatch Chiles and Anaheim Peppers?

(Last Updated On: August 19, 2014)

Hatch Chiles

It’s Hatch Chile Time! Do you have Hatch Fever like Frieda’s Specialty Produce. Have you seen huge displays of these at Kroger stores or have you attented a hatch roasting event? If you are a fan of peppers one look at the Hatch Chile and you may be thinking that “hey that pepper looks just like an Anaheim pepper”. If a New Mexico resident is within ear shot they may soundly object to you saying such a blasphemous thing. I am here today to clear up the differences between a Hatch Chile and an Anaheim pepper. For simplicity sake we are going to keep the chile versus pepper argument for another time and just called the Anaheim a pepper and the Hatch a chile.

What is the Difference Between Hatch Chiles and Anaheim Peppers?
So what is the difference. It all comes down to location, location, location. Let’s face the facts, a Hatch chile is a variety of Anaheim pepper. Yes they are basically one in the same. But while wine lovers celebrate wines from different regions, people debate whether Vermont or Wisconsin cheddar is better, and those that will only eat Vidaliia onions, what makes the Anaheim peppers named Hatch chiles special is where they are grown. Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, where the town of Hatch is located, experiences abudant sunshine, hot daytime temperatures with cool nights. This is due to the approximate 4000 foot elevation in the area, which allows for cooler temperatures at night during the growing season. For whatever reason this hot and cool trade off does wonder for the flavor of the chiles. The soil makeup is also different there from California and Mexico in which most the grocery store Anaheim peppers come from.

Can I Use an Anaheim Pepper In Place of a Hatch Chile?
Absolutely! The flavor may be different but the pepper will work just the same. Just like the ones from Hatch, Anaheims would benefit in flavor from roasting.

Hatch Chile Creamed Corn

My Favorite Use for Hatch Chiles
No doubt about it – Creamed Corn. The heat of the pepper is so perfect along with the creaminess you get when kernel meets dairy. Take a moment and check out the recipe.

9 Replies to “What is the Difference Between Hatch Chiles and Anaheim Peppers?”

  1. I’m sorry but you have wrong information. It is the Anaheim that came from the Hatch chili. Seeds were brought from the Hatch valley of New Mexico to Anaheim by a farmer named Emilio in 1913. New Mexico Hatch came first most varieties came from the University there in New Mexico.

  2. Eric Samuelson says:

    I have not heard about this. Do you have more information I could check it out? Thanks for the information, I appreciate it.

  3. Have you seen Hatch chile this year? I found a box or two in Ann Arbor last year, but that’s it. I’m in West Bloomfield and drove all over looking for it.

  4. Eric Samuelson says:

    Yes. Whole Foods Market is carrying them. In fact I heard they are going to be going on sale for this weekend! Hope you can get some.

  5. Scott is correct, but while Anaheim and Hatch were from the same seeds, they are quite a bit different now. The hatch has thinner meat and thus, is more difficult to clean. A bushel of Anaheim’s will provide almost twice the meat as a bushel of the Hatch. Flavors are very similar.
    Best way to roast is a rotary basket. Once the chili’s are done, a light spray of water, then straight into a plastic bag to let the skin steam loose. If you want to add a little extra flavor to the chili’s, toss a bulb of garlic into the basket when roasting.

  6. Eric Samuelson says:

    Thanks for adding more to the conversation. I assume you then prefer the Anaheim over the Hatch?

  7. Frank Herrera says:

    My parents grew up on New Mexico. The Hatch reigns supreme in our home here in California. The Anaheim is just ok. It never is hot enough, however. My mom would roast the Anaheims and also some green and yellow jalapeno Chile peppers for some heat. This is very satisfactory as a substitute for lack of Hatch Chile’s from their home state. Many of their friends migrated to California as well. And with so many friends going to and fro, we were able to get some Hatch through the years.
    The local grocers(Albertson’s only initially)caught on and stocked a few cases each season. It wasn’t enough. Between all our family and friends, they were overwhelmed with orders. They stepped up and filled all our orders and each year, we call ahead to order… usually in August. We roast 2 cases in our household alone. Freezer bag it. We have enough year round. We love it. I call it my Mexican Spinach. ☺

  8. Eric Samuelson says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I love how people are so passionate about Hatch or in some cases Anaheim. It’s great to hear the debate. Keep the comments coming!

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