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Celebrating the world famous Hatch chile

Celebrations were recently held at grocery/produce stores and specialty shops across the southwest of the U.S. in honor of a chile – the world famous Hatch chile.

The spicy food store Chile Hedz, located in Old Town Temecula, was among the celebrants as it hosted a Hatch Chile Festival Sept. 17-18.

These special chiles are grown in the valley around a town called (surprise!) Hatch, a small village in southeastern New Mexico located between Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences. Hatch bills itself as the "Chile Capital of the World" and every Labor Day weekend more than 30,000 visitors from all over the U.S. come to the town for the annual Hatch Chile Festival.

The Hatch green chile is known for it's great flavor – not too spicy, not too mild, just right. When perfectly roasted, the chile yields a delicious taste that is mildly hot and sweet.

The Hatch chile has been featured in countless publications, including old mainstay Sunset Magazine, and has been showcased on television via the Food Network and the BBC.

The Hatch chile name is so important that the Hatch Chile Association is working to make sure the Hatch name is reserved for chiles that can be traced to the Hatch Valley through a shared certification process. The association wants a certification mark to help consumers verify the source.

A federal appeals court recently sided with the Hatch Chile Association in a dispute over what food can be fairly labeled with the renowned Hatch name. In its written decision, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals saluted the Hatch Valley for "producing some of the world's finest chile peppers," and added that the area "may be to chiles what Napa is to grapes."

Those that missed the various Hatch chile festivals and would like to try these delicious peppers should visit


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