New Mexico – Anaheim – Hatch Chiles
First: Are all these peppers the same thing?
They are related. The New Mexico chile came first, and this spawned variants such as the Anaheim and Hatch chiles.
The New Mexico type peppers originated from the New Mexico No. 9, which was bred through selection by Fabían Garcia in 1913. Characteristics of the No. 9 is that of a long, substantial pepper – particularly when compared to the typical cayenne. The No. 9 had thick walls, meaty flesh, and was suitable for roasting, canning, or stuffing. This was the standard New Mexico pepper until the 1950s.
From the No. 9 were developed peppers bred for hotter or milder heat levels, a thicker flesh better suited for canning, smooth skin and tapered shape for roasting and peeling, and varieties that had better flavor when eaten green (unripe).
The Hatch chile is a New Mexico type pepper grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. There is no single variety of a Hatch chile, and it can refer to any number of the popular NuMex varieties.
The Anaheim chile is a milder version of the New Mexico No. 9, which is credited to Emilio Ortega who brought the seeds to the Anaheim region from New Mexico.
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Considered one of the hottest of the New Mexico style chiles, though Lumbre was developed as an even hotter variant.
New Mex Heritage 6-4.
Originally the New Mexico No. 6, this was bred in 1947 by Dr. Roy Harper in conjunction with the New Mexico State University. It was similar in size and shape to the New Mexico No. 9, but with a more mild heat level. In 1957, the No. 6 was further heat-reduced, and released as the New Mexico 6-4. The New Mexico 6-4 became the standard bearer in the industry, but the flavor gradually declined through genetic degradation.
To restore the New Mexico 6-4, Dr. Paul Bosland of the New Mexico Chile Pepper Institute, resurrected seeds from cytogenetic storage from the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation at Colorado State University. After years of trials with multiple breeding lines, one variety was chosen for it’s uniform heat levels, processing ease, and fruit yield. The result is the New Mex Heritage 6-4.
NuMex Heritage Big Jim
At one point, the longest pepper in the world, with the ability to reach a length of up to 13". Great for stuffing or roasting.
NuMex Joe Parker
A variant of the NuMex Heritage 6-4, Joe Parker was selected for it's thicker flesh more suitable to stuffing.
Developed in 1956 by Dr. Roy Harper. Based off of the classic New Mexico No. 9, Sandia was bred for its high heat level.