HATCH, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico-grown chile is now protected more than ever as its popularity grows, but there is one city that’s getting most of the attention.
Hatch green chile is in stores across the nation and it’s even making its way onto restaurant menus.
A recent post on the Facebook page Inhabitants of Burque demonstrates how Hatch chile is really going places.
One photo of chile in New York led to a snapshot from Virginia and another from Pennsylvania of that spice of southwestern New Mexico
“It’s really neat to be able to bring that to the customer and introduce Spokane to a little bit of New Mexican flavor,” said Tim Ahern.
One restaurant offering up Hatch chile – a burger joint in Washington state – is run by a couple guys who have lived in New Mexico before.
When they found a store selling bushels of Hatch chile, they put a green chile cheeseburger on the menu called the Hatch burger.
“The sales that we’ve had on this has been pretty incredible,” said Ahern. “It’s beat all of the other weekly specials that we’ve run to this point the secret’s out about New Mexico chile.”
Now the secret is safe. Earlier this month, the New Mexico Chile Association announced a program to certify locally grown peppers.
This is to help stop those outside the state from trying to pass off their chile as New Mexico’s.
From now on, if it’s grown here, customers will see a logo.
This comes after a law passed in 2011 made it illegal to advertise out-of-state chile as New Mexico-grown.
Hatch chile fans from around the U.S. say it’s about time for the proliferation of Hatch chile peppers.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Ahern. “All I can say is about time. It’s a phenomenal little pepper that almost nobody knows about, you know.”
The Hatch Chile Company is the largest provider of chile products grown and packaged in the Land of Enchantment, with products available in all 50 states.