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jrshaul

New Mexico Hatch red dried chiles.

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Anyone know where I can get these whole at a sane price? I'm used to paying $2 for a massive bag, not $20 for a dinky jar that invariably tastes flat.

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I see a few possibilities looking at the sponsor list for the Hatch Chile Fest...


So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Since being away from NM for 30+ years I may be totally off base here. Either I had a limited view of chiles or things have changed. In the old days, Hatch chiles were really grown in and around Hatch. They were very hot, and honestly I don't believe that a lot of the crop was allowed to turn red and get dried. There was plenty of demand for fresh green Hatch chiles. If you scored a lot of them, you froze them so you could make chile verde or green enchiladas through the winter and spring. If you wanted to make a red sauce for posole or beans or  enchiladas,  or just a bowl of red with pork, you would use the more ubiquitous "New Mexico Chile," which were often dried and bound into ristras to hang until needed and for decoration. These were typically medium hot chiles, and very dependable for most dishes that used a lot of chiles; always a winter staple when fresh green chiles were not available. If you were to make a bowl of rojo or an enchilada sauce with true dried Hatch chiles you would blow your head off. That's another reason why I don't remember Hatches being dried. Perhaps now to satisfy demand the Hatch crop has evolved into something less hot and grown in abundance outside the area with milder seeds, which would mean that so called "Hatch" chiles might be sold dried because of a larger and tamer crop.

 

Some time after I left New Mexico Hatch chiles became a "thing." Probably the demand exceeded the authentic Hatch crop. They were sometimes mixed with a crop called "Big Jims," which were a sort of strange assortment of hot and not so hot chiles, which I believe grew that way. They were not at all consistent or identifiable as true Hatch chiles. Unfortunately Big Jims were sold as Hatch and used in mail orders. I remember after moving to CA and mail-ordering some Hatch chiles I received Big Jims, and they were disappointing in flavor. In addition, if they called them Hatch they could command a ridiculous price for shipping, and they often were delivered not very fresh. I haven't had them in many years, so the the crop may have been improved. Rather than order chiles on line I now use green poblanos; I have a couple of sources that supply pretty hot ones, although many supermarket poblanos can be bland. I get large amounts from the farmers market in late summer and fall and roast and freeze them in batches. I do know that it is frustrating when all you can find are anaheims and you want something with a real kick.

 

Anyone who still lives in NM do chime in and straighten me out as needed. 

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The whole Hatch branding annoys me. I go to Latin markets with turnover, smell deeply, and buy the chiles that appeal depending on proposed use. The good ones you can smell through the packaging.  Cist = ridiculously low considering the flavor punch.

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