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 and Anaheim pepper started out the same. The seeds of the Hatch were brought to California and given the name Anaheim. This was done by a farmer with a farmer with a famous last name – Emilo Ortega (source). Yes, that Ortega. He transplanted a New Mexico chile in Anaheim, California.
While Hatch and Anaheim are basically one in the same, they don’t’ quite taste the same. Think about this: wine lovers celebrate wines from different regions, people debate whether Vermont or Wisconsin cheddar is better, and those that will only eat sweet Vidalia onions.
The Hatch chile is because of where they are grown – Mesilla Valley of New Mexico, where the town of Hatch is located. Hatch, NM 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.
It’s more than just the temperature in the air that effects the chile. The soil makeup is also different in Hatch then from California or Mexico where most of the grocery store Anaheim peppers come from.
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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.
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.
What is your favorite way to use Hatch chiles? Leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you.
Over the last several years I have been seeing more and more products show up containing Hatch chiles. Below I want to share some of the most interesting ones. Any of these will help you enjoy Hatch chiles no matter what time of year it is.
- Can’t get your hands on some fresh Hatch chiles? You can buy them in glass jars flamed-roasted for your convenience. Comes in Hot, Medium, and Sweet & Mild.
- If you prefer your Hatch in powdered form, get his Red New Mexico Hatch Chile powder. Perfect for sprinkling on your chile or beans. Or use it as part of a spice rub for chicken.
- Duke’s is one of my favorite smoked sausage makers. They make come up with some really flavorful combination. Hatch Green Chile is one of them. Perfect for having in your car on a long road trip or take with you on a good hike.
- How about some sunflower seeds flavored with hatch green chiles. Chinook Seedery gives you such an option.
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