It’s Hatch Chile season.
Yes, this is yet another one of those specialty ingredients you probably never heard of before—and yet now you see it everywhere.
At least it’s easier to pronounce than chipotle.
The simple facts are these:
- It’s a chile grown primarily in the Hatch Valley region of New Mexico.
- Its flavor packs a definite chile kick, without any lingering aftertaste or burn.
- Roasting them is considered the best way to preserve the chiles for use throughout the year.
The tricky part about the Hatch Chile is that it has a very short season for growing, meaning that you need to buy and preserve the fresh chiles now if you want to savor the flavor for much longer.
And, the fun part about the Hatch Chile is that everything from a festival to a pizza to a pesto has become part of the persona.
The 41st Hatch Valley Chile Festival (yes, 41st—meaning this chile isn’t exactly new to everybody) just ended, filled with two days of sampling the chiles in all their glory.
The pizza, called the Hatch Chile Pie, is from Pie Five Pizza Co. and is described as “a little sweet, a little spicy, and loaded with Southwestern flavor.” It’s a limited time offer (through mid-October) if you find yourself in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“We’re constantly looking for non-traditional flavors and seasonal favorites for our specialty pies and what better than a Hatch Chile Pie? Hatch Chiles are a regional favorite and the perfect addition to our Fall menu,” says Pie Five Chef Andy Wittman.
And the pesto? It’s from a company called The Gracious Gourmet. The and Hatch Chile Pesto is one of five new products introduced earlier this year, including a Black Olive Tapenade, Cranberry Raspberry Blood Orange Spread, Apple Caramelized Onion Spread, and Passion Fruit Mango Spread. The Hatch Chile Pesto is described as follows:
Hatch green chiles, both mild and spicy, are combined with roasted green peppers to create a new style of pesto with a hint of heat. Garlic, cilantro and onions round out the Southwestern flavor of this uniquely American take on a Mediterranean classic.
Whether you are a longtime Hatch Chile fan, or new to the club, just remember—they’ll be gone before you know it. (That’s why we’re glad that at The Food Channel, a couple of our chefs had the foresight to roast batch after batch, sharing the flavors with staff in some excellent Hatch Chile burgers.) While they may be everywhere now, the season is short. Catch it now.