Over the years, August has become one of my favorite months of the year. I tend to get excited when the calendar month turns to 8. August is so great for many reasons; the days are long and warm and fresh basil grows rampant in my garden but mostly because it means that Hatch Chiles will soon be arriving in our stores!
These spectacular green chiles arrive each summer from Hatch, New Mexico to great fanfare and they’re only around for a short time. There are many great products that incorporate Hatch Chiles but I’m always most excited for the arrival of Beemster Hatch Chile Gouda.
Here’s a little bit about Hatch:
- Hatch Chiles are grown only in the Hatch valley of New Mexico, and are considered by chili aficionados to be the BEST peppers in the world.
- They were a hybrid pepper first grown in the early 1900s.
- 3500 ft. above sea level, cool nights, long hot days and volcanic soil give this chile thick skin and a unique flavor profile.
- There are a number of varieties of Hatch chiles and varying levels of heat/spiciness.
And here are some useful facts about this awesome seasonal cheese:
- The cheese is creamy and smooth with just a hint of Hatch Chiles.
Some bites are mild and delicate, while others can be more spicy depending on the level of heat found in the chiles used to make the cheese.
- It is a great ingredient for any recipe, with terrific meltability and flavor.
- Pairs really well with IPA beers, or try it with a refreshing white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc.
If you’re a cheese lover you have to get your hands on some of this cheese (and the peppers) while you can, because when they’re gong, they’re gone!
~Shannon Welsh, Heinen’s Cheesemonger