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Aug 14, 2013 02:27 AM

Hatch chiles [Split from Boston board]

Just to clarify, Hatch/Anaheim peppers are not poblanos.

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  1. What about the other Hatch thread where the statement is made that Hatch chiles are not just one variety but any of the many grown in Hatch?poblanos are not one of the varieties grown in Hatch?

    i was hoping you and J would articulate the difference in taste betw poblanos and Hatch ---Anaheims? or maybe CA Anaheims and Hatch Anaheims? funny, Hatch is in Nw Mex and Anaheim is in CA. Hatch Anaheims...hmmmmm.

    6 Replies
    1. re: opinionatedchef

      The New Mexico chile is a distinct variety, different from the poblano, and commonly called Anaheim (because one strain was brought from NM to Anaheim CA in the early 1900s) or New Mexico chile.

      I believe the other thread referred to the fact that WF was getting a shipment of Big Jim, which is one strain of Anaheim/NM chile popular among Hatch varieties. This seed company has some good info in describing their different varieties of peppers:

      1. re: Allstonian

        that sandiaseed is a terrific link. now if we can just get J to describe the flavor differences..............

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Your palate is so different from either of ours, I'm not sure that would be useful. Best to do your own taste test, I suspect.

      2. re: opinionatedchef

        Just as any onion grown around Vidalia, Georgia, is a Vidalia onion, any chile of any variety grown in the Hatch chile. Hatch is a place, NOT a variety, period. They grow many varieties there, and red chiles as well as green. The taste and heat level are dependent upon the variety of the chile.

        1. re: zeldaz51

          Red chiles and green chiles are the same thing. One's allowed to ripen on the vine, one isn't. You leave any green chile on the vine, it'll turn red.

          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

            That is mostly true. Some varieties are grown for green harvest only, others are grown for red harvest only, and some can be used at both stages. Not all turn red, but mature, ripe ones usually do change color. There are orange, purple, yellow, and brown chiles.

      3. The original comment has been removed
        1. As a general rule, poblanos have a somewhat fruitier taste than NMs. NMs are more vegetal and grassy. The flesh of a poblano is usually pretty thin, while most strains of NMs (particularly Big Jim, which is the superstar varietal) have been carefully bred to have much thicker flesh. You don't want to eat either poblanos or NMs raw: NMs in particular have a really unpleasantly bitter, almost metallic, taste when raw.

          Ancho chiles (which are dried poblanos) have an even more complex taste than fresh poblanos, with a lovely cocoa undertone. Dried NMs are basically just a Scoville deployment system: they don't add much more than heat to a dish. Which is part of why ristras of dried NM chiles are so often sold as a kitchen decoration, sprayed with shellac like Indian corn: they're pretty, but there are better dried chiles to cook with.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

            I find your descriptions of the tastes of the various chiles pretty much in accord with my experience. I would add that although the NM-20s grown in Hatch are similar in heat to an Anaheim, Big Jims contain noticeably more capsaicin. Moreover, the Sandias are a great deal hotter than any Anaheim could ever aspire to.

            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

              It's been my experience that poblanos have thicker flesh than the Anaheim variety. I've eaten them from California, Mexico, Arizona, and New Mexico, and the poblanos nearly always have a thicker flesh.

              1. re: EWSflash

                At a minimum, poblanos are firmer, have more density, and less moisture content than Anaheims. Hatch also have a high water content, as hounds will observe when they bring home their fresh roasted and peel and de-seed them.

            2. has anyone ever gotten a 5 pound (or more) box shipped from ? was debating getting some/finding people in the boston area to share with when i get back in town in a couple of weeks, but wanted to see if people had any experience with them first...

              1 Reply
              1. re: valcfield

                I buy frozen chiles from Biad, the products are very good. I have also visited their processing site, which is about 8 miles from where I live. Happy workers and very clean, as far as I've seen.

              2. I just bought some (Bristol Farms in Los Angeles) and... I just don't get it. Not that it's not tasty, but there's nothing special about it to me. It's basically a spicy Anaheim chile. I feel like I've been swindled by the PR folks -- when something is only available for a month or two out of the year, it must be special, right?

                Anyone else?

                8 Replies
                1. re: Lobstr

                  Actually, you can purchase frozen New Mexico chiles year round and they're quite good. Avoid canned, it goes without saying.

                  1. re: Lobstr


                    1. re: bbqboy

                      Yes, exactly, bbqboy. Thanks for linking that.

                    2. re: Lobstr

                      Well...a hot anaheim chile *is* what it is. And it's tasty in a green chile stew and numerous other preparations. So I guess I'm not understanding what the problem is: what made you think there must be something "special" about it?

                      1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                        The PR machine in LA is what. Hatch chiles made a huge splash at supermarkets starting last year as if some fancy caviar was just discovered. Ralphs and Bristol Farms at least. "Hatch Chiles here for only two weeks!" "Hatch Roasting this weekend only!" They made it out to be uber special. "Only grown for two months out of the year!" They put up entire display stands with Hatch chiles, cookbooks, Hatch products, tips for how to roast and freeze to have a year's supply.

                        Maybe in some parts of the country it's a legit, timely novelty. But in LA, Anaheim chiles are available year round.

                        1. re: Lobstr

                          Only grown for two months? Impossible, you'd never get a crop. Hatch is a place, the Hatch Valley, here in Southwestern NM, it is not a chile variety, as most people think. The valley has pretty much perfect growing conditions for excellent chiles, and many varieties with different heat levels are grown there. You have to buy by the variety to get the heat level you are comfortable with. People here have entire freezers devoted to storing their year's roasted green chile supply. Green chile harvest starts in August and lasts a few weeks, then the red chile harvest begins for another several weeks. Anaheim is just another name for the NuMex varieties like Joe E. Parker. Green (Mexican) chiles are available year-round here, too, but the flavor is not as good as the local ones, in season, freshly roasted and frozen immediately. As I said in an earlier post, I recommend the products sold online by Biad, their descriptions of their heat levels and flavors are very good.

                          1. re: zeldaz51

                            "Hatch" chiles have developed an identity, a seasonality, and a cult following. Ten years ago when I lived in Denver I could only get them in Huerfano County, CO, fresh roasted, and I filled up my mountain house freezer with that special item each September. Fast forward, cities all over the country are roasting Hatch's in season. Maybe there is an extra good Chamber of Commerce in Hatch. I would loosen the drag and let it run. Good for local business, and others' enjoyment. There is a certain magic to seasonal items, with a build up of expectations and pleasures, and a desire to stockpile like a squirrel for the off seasons. All good fun.

                          2. re: Lobstr

                            Well, though Hatch Chile is only available 2 months out of the year, the statement that it is only grown for two months is a little misleading. Think about sweet corn as a comparison. Though it is planted and watered and fertilized for a full 4-5 months, the actual harvest window is relatively short. It's the same with chile grown here in the Valley. Although we plant our chile in March/April, the harvest window is from late July to late September. Furthermore, most of the bulk processors have an even shorter 1-2 week window as they completely strip their fields rather than harvesting only the pods that are ready at any given time.