If you’re a fan of spicy foods, then you’ve probably heard of Hatch chiles. These chiles are a type of pepper that’s grown exclusively in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico and are celebrated for their delicious flavor and unique heat. But what is it that makes Hatch chiles so special? In this blog post, we’ll explore the big deal with Hatch chiles and why they’re so popular.
What are Hatch chiles?
Hatch chiles are a type of pepper that’s grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. They’re named after the town of Hatch, which is located in the valley. Hatch chiles are known for their heat, flavor, and versatility. They have a medium heat level that’s similar to a jalapeño pepper, but with a more complex flavor that’s similar to a green bell pepper.
Hatch chiles come in a variety of colors, including green, red, and yellow. The color of the chile depends on how long it’s been allowed to ripen on the vine. Green Hatch chiles are the most common and have a slightly bitter flavor, while red Hatch chiles have a sweeter flavor and are often dried and used as a seasoning.
Why are Hatch chiles so popular?
Hatch chiles have become incredibly popular in recent years, and there are a few reasons why. First, they’re incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. They’re great for stews, sautés, sauces, and dips like queso, hummus, or salsa. They’re also perfect for topping a burger or pizza.
Another reason why Hatch chiles are so popular is because they’re only available for a short period of time each year. Hatch chile season typically runs from August to September, so people eagerly anticipate their arrival each year. The limited availability of Hatch chiles makes them feel special and exotic, which adds to their appeal.
Finally, people love Hatch chiles because they’re just plain delicious. They have a unique flavor that’s hard to describe but is instantly recognizable to anyone who’s had them before. Once you’ve tasted a Hatch chile, it’s hard not to want more.
How to use Hatch chiles
As we mentioned earlier, Hatch chiles are incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
– Salsas: Make a spicy salsa with chopped Hatch chiles, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro.
– Queso: Add some chopped Hatch chiles to your queso dip for an extra kick of flavor.
– Burgers: Top your burger with a grilled Hatch chile for a smoky, spicy flavor.
– Enchiladas: Add some chopped Hatch chiles to your enchiladas for a delicious twist on a classic dish.
– Stews: Add some diced Hatch chiles to your chili or stew for a flavorful kick.
– Pizza: Top your pizza with chopped Hatch chiles for a spicy, smoky flavor.
Where to buy Hatch chiles
If you live in the Southwest, you may be able to find Hatch chiles at your local grocery store or farmer’s market during Hatch chile season. However, if you don’t live in the Southwest or if you want to make sure you’re getting the freshest, highest-quality Hatch chiles, you can order them online from various retailers. Just be sure to order them in season, as Hatch chiles are best when they’re fresh.
In summary, Hatch chiles are a type of pepper that’s grown exclusively in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. They’re known for their delicious flavor and unique heat, as well as their versatility in the kitchen. Hatch chiles have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to their limited availability and their delicious flavor. If you haven’t tried Hatch chiles yet, now’s the time to give them a try!
Are Hatch chiles hotter than jalapeno?
Hatch chiles and jalapeños both originate in Mexico, but the former gets its name from Hatch, New Mexico, where the chili is widely grown. Determining which one is hotter is subjective, as heat level can vary depending on factors like the chili’s freshness, growing conditions, and individual taste sensitivity. However, Hatch chiles are generally considered to be milder than jalapeños, but hotter than Anaheim peppers.
When we talk about the Scoville scale, which is used to measure the heat level of chili peppers, jalapeños range from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), whereas Hatch chiles fall between 1,000 and 8,000 SHU, depending on the variety. This means that there is a chance that some jalapeños could be hotter than some Hatch chiles, but in general, Hatch chiles are considered to be in the medium heat range, while jalapeños fall between medium and hot.
However, it’s important to note that the heat level of Hatch chiles can vary depending on when they are harvested. For instance, if they are picked earlier in the season, they will be milder, and if left to mature later in the season, they will become hotter. Additionally, the way they are prepared can also affect their heat level. Roasting Hatch chiles can bring out their natural sweetness and also make them milder, while leaving the seeds and membranes intact will make them hotter.
While it can be difficult to compare the heat level of Hatch chiles and jalapeños directly, it’s generally safe to say that Hatch chiles are milder than jalapeños. However, both chilies are flavorful and versatile, and there are many delicious recipes that make use of both. Whether you are a fan of mild or spicy, both Hatch chiles and jalapeños can add a delicious flavor to your dishes.