Read up on my article “Green Heroin: How to Buy Addictive Hatch New Mexican Chiles” to find out more about the why of the buy, and to get the most out of your home-chile-roast each season!
Hatch chiles are amazing tastes and smells. They have a flavor that is hard to describe accurately. Spicy, savory, they are unlike any other chile. They are often-mistaken for their cousins, the Anaheim, but their aroma alone tells you the difference, and can put the broadest of smiles on the faces of New Mexicans, and those fortunate enough to have developed a Hatch habit.
YOUR ANNUAL BUY
Chiles grow, as you might guess, seasonally. So what you do to get the rare Hatch chiles is: Order ahead.
If you want the real deal, I’ve been buying from the Hatch Green Chile Store (HGCS) back from the time that they used to call themselves Berridge Farms. For fresh, the only way you can get something that even approximates what they box and ship right off of the farm is to head to Cerrilos road in Santa Fe in August and bring a big cooler with you!
When they ship, you receive, roast, and freeze bags or containers of it to get you through the year!
Learn how to roast, peel, and freeze them in my article, and avoid un-Hatch Hatch chiles produced places other than the Valley.
PICK YOUR TEMPERATURE
Hatch chiles come in several different subspecies each with their own heat index. How hot they are is also a factor of how the weather is in New Mexico. The dryer the year in Hatch, the spicier the chiles, I’ve found. So you look at the climate data. Hatch is high altitude and generally a drier climate. Last year, when this was written, the peak growing months were very wet.
So, based on the weather, buy:
- The Joe Parker (Medium) in a normal year;
- The 1904 (Mild) in a dry year;
- and Big Jim (Medium-Hot) in a wet year.
Like the heat? Order:
You can lower the temperature a bit by stripping all of the seeds out of your roasted chiles, but it robs them of some of the flavor experience.
HGCS is also one of the most experienced online retailers of fresh product, so they have the shipping and communication thing down! That’s why they happily earn my Five Diamond Choicestuff nod for all of their products!