Better than pumpkin spice season is Hatch chile time, the brief period from August to early September when fresh Hatch chile peppers are available. Coveted for their unique flavor and limited availability, the versatile pepper is celebrated all over the country.
First grown by the Pueblo and Hispano people centuries ago, Hatch chiles have a particular terroir. Much like Champagne and Kobe beef, Hatch chiles can only come from Hatch Valley in Southern New Mexico. The tiny town with a population of about 1600 is know for intense sunlight and cool nights. Perhaps this lends to the sought-after flavor and meaty texture of the peppers.
Hatch chiles can be green when picked early or red from lingering longer. Red ones have a sweeter flavor and green ones take on a flavorful smokiness when roasted. The flavor is very versatile and with just enough heat. On the Scoville scale, which measures how much of heat producing capsaicin is in a pepper, Hatch comes in nearest poblano and much less intensity that serrano or jalapeno.
Atlanta has its own annual festival with Foxeria del Sol, set for this Sunday, August 26 at the Westside location of Taqueria del Sol. This one is all about the famous chile but also rooted in generosity. All funds from the day benefit Hogs for the Cause, a non-profit that issues grants to families battling pediatric brain cancer.
The team behind Foxeria del Sol, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Taqueria del Sol, and Charleston’s Home Team BBQ have made a $750,000 donation to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, directedto pediatric oncology patient care at Children’s. The home’s designated Celebration Area will be for a place where cancer and blood disorders patients ring a bell to mark the end of treatment at the hospital.
“We are so grateful to Hogs for the Cause and their ongoing fundraising efforts,” says Caroline Rooke, manager of clinical operations at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. “The money they raise is fundamental to our patient care. While many of these kids face difficult days and challenges during treatment, this special space will give them something to look forward to, also providing hope for others just beginning their journey.”
From 4-8 pm the block party style festival will showcase Hatch chiles in tasty and clever edible presentations while Moontower plays live music. Local beer will be pouring as well as Hatch inspired cocktails.
Ticket holders get unlimited access to food stations. Last year’s Foxeria del Sol included these tasty bites:
- Poached and grilled artichokes with Hatch chile green goddess dip
- Hatch hotdogs with pork Hatch chile sauce and Hatch mustard
- Brisket and Hatch tamales with tomatillo, Hatch, and avocado salsa
- Hatch green chile cheeseburger
- Whole hog poboy with Hatch slaw and Hatch vinegar.
Happy Hatch Day! Snag a ticket here before they sell out. (They always sell out) https://www.xorbia.com/e/foxbrosbbq/2018-foxeria-del-sol-hatch-chile-fest
PHOTOS: Courtesy of Fox Bros.