Get Ready For Hatch Peppers!

by Steven Doyle

It’s time to gear up once again for one of our favorite times of the year, Hatch Chile Season. No one does Hatch Chile’s better in Dallas than Central Market with all the grandeur deserving the flavorful pepper.

For those that participated in the season last year know it was a particularly spicy season with even the mild versions having an extra bit of kick. It will be interesting to see how the weather this year affects the peppers on the Scoville front.

This will mark the 16th season for Central Market since they first fired up their first batch of chilies creating a great stir that has continued to gain momentum as one of the market’s top festivities.

Central Market kicks off their Annual Hatch Chile Festival on Wednesday, August 17, when they fire up the black, authentic chile roasters. The festival is a salute to the seasonal return of the famous peppers, fresh from Hatch, New Mexico that are harvested for only a few weeks out of the year, aren’t grown anywhere else in the world, and connoisseurs consider them some of the finest. 

  • Here is what Central Market has planned for this year:
  • More than 250,000 peppers delivered to Central Market each year – that’s more than any other retailer in the country.
  • Hatch Roti Meal Deal only $14.99 Hatch Rotisserie Chicken, Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese, and a Family Garden Salad.
  • Four brand new Hatch quesadillas– Hatch Chicken Eggplant, Bison Hatch Pepper Quesadilla, Shrimp with Hatch Cilantro Pesto, and Cowboy Quesadilla with Flank Steak and Hatch peppers.
  • The 5th Annual No-Holds-Barred Hatch Chile Recipe Contest kicking off online August 3. Jump in this one, it’s fun and easy.
  • Don’t cook? Eat and JUDGE! Enter online to be a Hatch recipe contest judge this year.
  • First Ever Central Market IPhone App! The Hatch iPhone app is loaded with fun recipes and a new video on ways to use Hatch (Think Hatch Bloody Mary; Roasted Hatch and Fiery Serrano Salsa; and Hatch Fettuccini w Creamy Pesto Heat!)
  • Hatch happenings in the Central Market Cooking School, from classes like Healthy Hatch: Featuring Chef Johnny Carino of PBS
  • Break Me Off a Piece of That and the Hatch Chile Cookout.
  • In-store cooking demonstrations and Hatch-inspired food samplings.

CraveDFW will be participating in the events and will be reporting in on the pepper fun. We will also have some contests to win Hatch dinners and prizes, so watch for these events here. This is almost like Christmas for us.


Filed under Central Market, Classes, Crave, Events, fun with food, Hatch Chilies, Party!, Steven Doyle

16 responses to “Get Ready For Hatch Peppers!

  1. Time to stock up!

  2. Andrew Chalk

    There is no such thing as a “Hatch Chile”. The whole thing is empty marketing hype.

  3. slade

    OMG cant wait. And Andrew, I grew up not far from Hatch. What do you mean they do not exist? Empty marketing hype belongs to the machine that pumps out Pyles, Fearrings, and Puck’s accolades.

  4. Andrew Chalk

    slade: Did you read the link?

  5. Andrew Chalk

    slade: Actually, I can’t think of any empty marketing hype about Pyles or Fearing. If anything, SW Cuisine was under-recognized for its effect on the national food culture. Did you see Bobby Flay’s reflections on these two men on ‘Eater’ this week?

  6. Monica

    Of course, there is no official designation of a specific chili variety named “Hatch chili”, but being from New Mexico, I will attest that there IS such a thing as Hatch Chili. Since there is no singular definition we need to start asking if we are buying Hatch brand chili, Hatch grown chili, or something else that is being marketed as one of those two.
    Too bad Hatch doesn’t have the political clout in our country that Champagne has in France, then we wouldn’t have this problem…

  7. Andrew Chalk

    Monica: It is the other way around. Champagne gets its own geographical designation because the wine is distinct. Hatch chilies taste no different from chilies from many other places in new Mexico (and ‘old’ Mexico) – see the link above. Have you ever met anyone who could taste the difference? So the ‘Hatch’ in ‘Hatch Chile’ is empty marketing hype. Have a chile festival – but don’t delude yourself that hatch chilies are different, or better (or even involved, given the misrepresentation reported by the book author in the link above).

  8. Andrew, actually you are wrong. The Hatch Chile is a particular strain only grown in that region, and with the sun, weather, soil, etc. makes it uniquely Hatch. Don’t go believing what they say at that xenophobic sight.

  9. Andrew Chalk

    Steve: That is totally wrong.

  10. Hatch chile refers to varieties of species of the genus Capsicum which are grown in and around Hatch, New Mexico. Most of these varieties of chile have been developed at New Mexico State University over the last 130 years.

  11. Andrew Chalk

    BTW: Anyone know the date of this year’s Hatch Unicorn Festival? I heard it was September 31st.

  12. Monica

    Andrew –
    SO WHAT!?!? Why does it frickin’ matter if the green chilis are grown in Hatch or in some other part of Arizona or New Mexico really? Your initial post may have been somewhat helpful for anyone who really cares about the specific branding issue, but now you’ve just gotten boring with your indignant posts. OK – So “Hatch” is a branding word and not an accurate description of the place ALL those type of chilis are grown. Maybe they should change it to Southwestern United States Chili Festival, but it just doesn’t have the same ring.

  13. I will disagree with Andrew on this for all eternity. Maybe I am just a sentimental old salt. In tooling around the net I found something I wriote in 2009 about Hatch. Thought it might bring things in perspective:

    As the pepper season winds down to a screeching halt, and we lose the beautiful roasters at places such as Central Market, I am reminded of this past weekend where we made a trek to CM to seek out a menu for dinner for about 12 friends. We were a bit disappointed when we saw no roasters. We were doubly aghast to not see the many versatile items offered weeks before, especially one hatch pepper brie en croute that was egad delicious.

    We found the bare remnants of the peppers and did manage to make a tremendous burger (hatch and garlic burger with a hatch pepper cream cheese spread-(home made of course- on a fantastic roll).

    To us, Hatch isn’t just a season, it is a spark of creativity to the good cook. It is a seasonal inspiration that brings friends together to hoist a cold brew as they smack their lips with triumphal huzzahs to yet another wonderful and seasonal repast. I do not care if I can grow these beauties for seven cents a piece at home, I do not care if the Food King has them thirty cents cheaper than CM.

    The fact is they are here, and a lot of people are doing some wonderful things with the pepper. Love them, not love them, or total indifference, I want to live in a world where Hatch Peppers are celebrated and loved ever bit as much as the elusive pig sniffed truffle.

  14. I did read the link and I agree with Monica and CraveDFW (Steve) in this case. I grew up eating chilies and Hatch ARE distinct. I grew up eating southwestern food my entire life. All Pyles did was put 4 dollar signs in front of some mole he was serving, and Fearing made a decent soup and stuck some jalapenos with lobster and there herald as food gods? Please. And Bobby Flay, he’s from NYC. And as those old Pace Picante commercials used to say, “get a rope!”

  15. *they’re heralded

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