Well, it could be their short season — only 6 weeks during August and September. Or maybe its their wonderful and very unique flavor. Either way, they are definitely all the rage this time of year, and I thought it might be worthwhile to get to the bottom of these popular peppers.

Hatch chiles are grown exclusively in the village of Hatch, New Mexico. They've been around for years, but have become more mainstream lately spurring them to become a new favorite in households and restaurants all over the country. The unique flavor of the Hatch is said to be the result of Hatch Valley's hot days and cool nights. A flavor that has made them so popular that diehard Hatch fans are known to hoard fresh chiles while they're available, roast them, and then freeze to use year round.

Hatch is most similar to the Anaheim but can also be used in place of  jalapeños and poblanos in queso dips, chile rellenos and salsas. And when roasted, they are fantastic in creamy soups, stews, Spanish rice, sandwiches and salad dressings.

Maybe you'll catch the Hatch fever!

Picking the Perfect Pepper:

Look for bright green firm peppers. They should be tight when you squeeze them and have a smooth skin. You might even notice that they feel a little heavy. That's good — it means the pepper is moist and fresh.

Storing your Pepper:

Keep your peppers in the produce bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for a week or two.

Roast and Freeze:

To take advantage of your Hatch chiles in their offseason, simply roast and freeze. This is so easy. Just preheat your oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay your Hatch chiles in a single layer. Pop them in the oven on an upper rack for 5 minutes. Take them out and flip them over with tongs. Put them back into the oven for another 5 minutes. The peppers will be charred in places — which is great! Now, grab a paper sack. Put the peppers in the sack and fold it over. Let them sit and 'steam' for at least 15 minutes. When you take them out, remove the stems, peel away the skin, and take out the seeds. Then WASH your hands! The remaining "flesh" can be used immediately, refrigerated for a few days, or frozen until Hatch season arrives again next year!

So, whether you're new to Hatch Chiles or you've been eating them for years, here's a great (and easy) recipe to make the most of these popular peppers! 

Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa

  • 3 Hatch chiles
  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • 4 shallots, peeled
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice — about 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Place chiles, tomatoes, shallots, and garlic on the sheet and place on an upper rack.
  4. Roast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and using tongs, flip everything.
  5. Return to the oven and roast another 5 minutes.
  6. Place chiles in a paper sack. Fold over the top and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the stems, seeds, and skin from each chile.
  8. Remove the skin from the tomatoes.
  9. Place roasted vegetables and remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food process and pulse until combined and still chunky.

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