Know Your Hatch Chile

Why authentic Hatch Chile from New Mexico stands above the rest

Frieda's Specialty Produce - Hatch Green Chile

Chile aficionados—also known as “Chile Heads”—swear by the unique flavor profile of authentic Hatch Chiles from New Mexico. No other green chiles can compare. But what makes the Hatch Chile so special?

It’s the terroir, as the French call it.

The word is mostly used to describe the unique taste and flavors in wine, as the geography, geology, and climate of where grapes are grown affect the grapes themselves. The terroir of the Mesilla Valley surrounding the town of Hatch, New Mexico, at an elevation of 4,000 feet, gives the chiles their famous zest and heat, brought out through roasting.

Much as Champagne can only come from the town of Champagne, France, and Bourbon can only come from Kentucky, Hatch Chiles can only come from the Mesilla Valley in New Mexico. A new law now requires that any New Mexico variety of chile, such as Hatch or the actual variety that is called “New Mexico,” which is not grown in the state, must be labeled “Not Grown in New Mexico.”

Indeed, green chiles are out there parading as authentic Hatch Chiles even though they are grown elsewhere. But dedicated Chile Heads and foodies seek out true, authentic New Mexican chiles and will not settle for products not grown in the state. After all, it’s the terroir of New Mexico, Hatch or otherwise, that makes them special.

Frieda’s is proud to be one of the keepers of Hatch Chiles’ authenticity, and we are excited to see returning Chile Heads and new fans at our roasting events every August. Click here for dates and locations.

What do you do with Hatch Chiles? We have a few ideas:

Want to learn more? Watch: