General Discussion 16

What makes Hatch chiles special? Roast Hatch chiles=human catnip?

rworange | Aug 24, 200908:00 AM

A poster on the SF board asked

"Please, please forgive my ignorance, but I would like to ask here what exactly makes a hatch chile so extraordinary? I've heard the name spoken of loads of times, but I don' t think I've ever tried them myself. Would these be the chile equivalent of, say, what poulet de bresse is for chicken?"

This thread which asked why people buy large quantities more addresses some of the issues for quantity ... they freeze well and work with so many dishes.

But still ... it doesn't answer the real question. I guess most roast peppers freeze well. What is it about those peppers that puts people in a mild panic when the last bag is open.

Someone suggested there's truly something additctive about them. People get headaches whne the last peppers are used ... Hatch withdrawal.

But as many people have said it is diffecult to describe. There's an added earthy complexity.

Some might write it off as New Mexican nostalgia. The air this time of year filled with the aroma of roasting peppers.

I don't think that is it though. I've been to New Mexico twice in my life, both times on the freeway and not during pepper season. My roots are in New England and yet this weekend I plan to buy a 25 lb box.

The first time I had them was in a bowl of green chile stew and I was unimpressed. I tried a small quantily three years back and was unmoved. Then two years ago I bought five pounds fresh from the roaster and well, I WAS hooked. I can't really say why. Here's a link to that year with lots of recipes.

It wasn't love at first taste, but over time I found myself more enchanted leading to a passion for the pepper.

Maybe it just like a person who oozes charisma and draws others to them but you can't really say why that is. They stand out from the crowd and somehow sparkle.

Anyway, can anyone really say what it is that makes these peppers so special?

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