Hatch Chile is simply put, A LEGEND. There is nothing like it. If you haven’t grown or eaten it before it is hard to describe.
New Mexico is the only state with an official State Question: "Red, or green?" The answer to this question refers to the color or age of the chili you want on your dish. There is another possible answer though, Christmas. For those that really want to live on the wild side, Christmas is a mix of both red and green chili in the same dish. Hatch chili is best served roasted and peeled.
This variety gets its name from New Mexico chili grown in the Hatch Valley and dates back into the mid 1800s. The Hatch is sometimes called ‘Anaheim’ is a mild variety of the cultivar 'New Mexico No. 9' and commonly grown outside of New Mexico. The name 'Anaheim' derives from Emilio Ortega, a farmer who brought the seeds from New Mexico to the Anaheim, California, area in 1894. The chili "heat" of 'Hatch' varies from 500 to 2,500 on the Scoville scale.
New Mexico green chili flavor has been described as lightly pungent similar to an onion, or like garlic with a subtly sweet, spicy, crisp, and smoky taste. The ripened red retains the flavor but adds an earthiness and bite while aging mellows the front-heat and delivers more of a back-heat.
The spiciness depends on the variety and the growing conditions. Happy plants produce more mild peppers and stressed plants growing in the heat of the summer with little water tend to have hotter peppers.