We are about to be beset by restaurants, promoters, and the more credulous sections of the media bombarding us with the message that it is “Hatch Chile Time.” I hate to burst the bubble, but there is no such thing as a “Hatch Chile.” Sure, there are chilies from Hatch, New Mexico, and they host the famous festival, but the product they export is just a chilies, not Hatch chile pepper. Dave DeWitt explains it all very well in his “The Complete Chile Pepper Book.”
“There is no such thing as a Hatch chile, despite all the hype about them. It is not a chile variety, as many people think. Yes, there are chiles grown in Hatch, usually the varieties ‘Barker’ and ‘NuMex 6-4′. These grown-in-Hatch varieties are no better than those grown in the Mesilla Valley or in Deming. There are simply not enough chiles grown in Hatch to supply all of the sellers claiming to provide “Hatch chile.” A few years ago at the New Mexico Chile Conference, I spoke to two women who have a chile farm in eastern Arizona who confessed to me that they shipped their chiles to Hatch, where roadside vendors labeled them “Hatch chiles.” So, how did this mythology come about? Well, first, there is a Hatch brand of canned chiles, packed by Border Foods in Deming. This brand has been on the market for years, but probably most of these chiles are grown in Mexico, not Hatch. Then there is what Jimmy Buffet calls the “coconut telegraph,” but here it’s the Capsicum Telegraph–namely word of mouth and rumor from consumers who mistakenly spread the hype. Sorry to burst everyone’s Hatch bubble, but I always tell it like it is.”
This isn’t to say that chiles are not wonderful things, but don’t waste your time or money on somebody’s Hatch chiles or their “festival.” Better to go to one of the area restaurants that worships them through their food. For example, Komali, which never seems to have fewer than six different varieties somewhere on their menu, or Mesa which prepares them with deference to Veracruz culinary tradition.13 Comments »
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We called it here: Hot dogs are the new hamburger. It’s raining wieners all over Dallas. Phil Romano and Zaccanelli Food Group are readying to roll out Hofmann hot dogs. Today we learn Chef Brian Luscher of The Grape is throwing his dogs in the fight. On August 11, “Da Lusch” will debut Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots at White Rock Lake Market. What are Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots? They are house-made, all-natural, Post-Oak-wood smoked, South-of-Chicago- inspired sausages which will be served with pickles, sport peppers, mustards and other condiments made from scratch resting on fresh-baked buns from Garland-based bakery, La Francaise. Whew!
Will they be available at Eatzi’s? Probably not. For now, you can find them at White Rock Lake Market which operates the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at The Green Spot Market and Fuels. Need another Facebook “like”? BTW, all of you Chicago skeptics, and you know who you are, Da Lush is from hog-butcher-to-the-world town. And use guys, brush up on yah 588-2300, and git intada market beesfour yah beeyatch.5 Comments »
I hate promoting one Dallas nonprofit over another nonprofit, I really do, but Promise of Peace Community Garden on 7440 East Grand Ave. is up against four other green-loving organizations for $20K in WFAA’s Project Green. In East Dallas, this green haven is a place where anyone can care for their own 12 x 4 ft. plot of land for $75 per year. Director Elizabeth Dry, a full-time teacher by day who started this community garden to help educate kids and help decrease the high-school drop out rate, would put that $20K towards programs like City Green, her fall kids camp where children can learn about horticulture and the environment. If you feel moved by Dry’s mission to help Dallas children, vote for Promise of Peace Garden every day until August 12.
Jump for the voting instructions. Continue reading "Vote For Promise of Peace Community Garden in WFAA’s Project Green"2 Comments »
You’d be surprised to learn how hard it can be for dining critics to find volunteers to join them on a review. So imagine my joy when, after inviting friends and family to join me at Kenny’s Italian Kitchen, I was flooded with gushing replies. “Oh, please,” my sister-in-law said. “I’m dying to go there.” We sashayed up to the hostess stand on a stormy Monday night around 6:30 and were placed on a 30-minute waitlist. The bar was three deep, and the dining room was jammed. Two hours later, I left confused. There is nothing special about the food at Kenny’s. It’s basically enormous portions of familiar red-sauce-Italian fare served in a Godfather-meets-Sopranos setting complete with stereotypical red-and-white checkered tablecloths anchored with straw-wrapped Chianti bottles.18 Comments »