Hatch Chile Season

Friday, August 9th, 2019

If you have ever been to New Mexico then you have probably had some Hatch Chile or at a minimum, you have heard of it. The locals like to put it in everything from stews to apple pie. It’s so popular, that there is even an annual festival dedicated to them that has occurred every August since 1971! Each Labor Day weekend the Hatch Chile Festival draws up to 30,000 people from around the world to the tiny town of Hatch, NM with less than 2,000 residents.

The Hatch Chile was cultivated in the 1920’s by New Mexico State University. They come in Red and Green and several varietals. New Mexican’s find Hatch Chile to be incredibly versatile, as their flavors can range from smoky to sweet and earthy, depending on when they're picked. While green and red Hatch chiles are really just the same pepper picked at different times, they do offer different flavors. According to Nate Cotanch, with Zia Hatch Chile Company, “When picked early and then roasted, Hatch green chiles have a very smoky, upfront flavor. As the chiles mature and turn red, they develop a slightly sweeter flavor profile and a more earthy underlying taste.”

Hatch Chiles have a rather short shelf life unless they are frozen. In which case, they can be defrosted and used throughout the year. During the Chile season of August and September, you will smell the roasting of Hatch Chile’s all over New Mexico. Even the local grocery stores will set up huge roasters in their parking lots to intrigue their shoppers.

As a New Mexico based Pistachio Ranch and Vineyard, we like to keep everything New Mexico based in our products, and of course we want the best of the best. So, we source the peppers for our red and green chile pistachios directly from Hatch. You can’t beat the flavor and you’re sure to become addicted!

If you are eager to try some Hatch Chile Recipes, first you’ll need to procure your chiles. If you live in New Mexico, most grocery stores carry them fresh in August and September and frozen/canned the rest of the year. If not in New Mexico, you’ll need to get online and find the resource for what you need. There are several options that will send you fresh – frozen chiles or canned. Then you can visit the Heart of the Desert Pinterest page for some yummy Hatch Chile recipes or try some of your own.

The next time you visit New Mexico, you’ll have to decide the answer to the most popular question, “Do you want red or green with that?”

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.