The ineluctable chile craze that strikes once a year and hails from New Mexico's Hatch Valley is upon us. Hatch season is already in session and harvesting has been going strong for the last few weeks. The Hatch chile is a popular pepper that was designed in a lab, which might seem out of touch with the organic, garden-grown produce movement, but the design does offer its benefits. The manipulated design of this pepper ensures that the pods have a consistent shape and size, and it also allows for a spectrum of heat levels, from mild to extra spicy. Opt for the milder version if you're susceptible to the rasp that sometimes catches in the back of the throat; the heat often builds with this pepper.
While Central Market's festival ends tomorrow, there are plenty of restaurants around town that are celebrating this NM chile in true Texan style. Chuy's has its own Hatch fest which runs until early September. They'll do the prep work and serve up Tex-Mex dishes that focus on the pepper. (And their Hatch sauce is pretty addictive.) Hubcap Grill is serving up a tamale burger with Hatch peppers in the masa. Whole Foods' commissary dining space also pays the pepper special attention with a variety of Hatch-centric menu options. With the grand opening of the Montrose location scheduled for this Thursday, Radical Eats has long been known for being a Hatch season celebrant, so pop over and check out the new omnivore-friendly menu. Make sure to get your fill since we won't see Hatch season again until next year.
·Past Hatch Coverage [-EHOU-]
·Central Market Hatch Fest [Official Site]