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Hatch chile refers to varieties of species of the genus Capsicum which are grown in the Hatch Valley, an area stretching north and south along the Rio Grande from Arrey, New Mexico, in the north to Tonuco Mountain to the south of Hatch, New Mexico. Most of the varieties of chile cultivated in the Hatch Valley have been developed at New Mexico State University over the last 130 years.
When ripe these peppers turn red and may also be referred to by the name chile Colorado.
New Mexico peppers range in heat from very mild varieties such as NM 6-4 to varieties which are much spicier than jalapeños, such as NuMex Barker or Lumbre.
At one time, Hatch chile could only be purchased locally in many parts of the Southwest, but distribution outside of the region was limited. This led to direct marketing by local farms online. The soil and growing conditions in the Hatch Valley contribute greatly to the consistent flavor of the Hatch chile.