Ever been to Hatch, New Mexico?
I suspect you'll answer no. After all, how many people enjoy roaming around the New Mexico desert just a bit northwest of Las Cruces?
I'll respond, "Follow the fine chefs of the world September 4-5, for the annual Hatch Valley Chile Festival." They or their reps will all be there, scoping out the year's chile harvest. For Hatch, New Mexico is the chile capital of the world, has been for a very long time. Indeed, chiles have been a staple of the Americas' diet for over six thousand years.
Most folks associate chile peppers with heat, the kind that burns twice if you get my drift. But chiles don't have to burn their way through your digestive system. Remove the seeds and you'll find you're left with a glorious spice that's both healthy and tasty.
As many people know, legendary radio talk-show host Don Imus has prostrate cancer and has refused chemo or surgery. He's being treated holistically by his wife -- Deidre Imus founded a pediatric cancer institute -- and specialists from around the globe, and habanero peppers -- the hottest pepper by far -- are part of his daily regimen. Imus takes them in pill form, lest the steam pulsing into his microphone on a daily basis be blamed on organic heat.
- One fresh medium-sized green chile pod has as much Vitamin C as six oranges.
- One teaspoon of dried red chile powder has the daily requirements of Vitamin A.
- Hot chile peppers burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic burn in the body, which speeds up the metabolism.
- Teas & lozenges are made with chile peppers for the treatment of a sore throat.
- Capsaicinoids, the chemical that make chile peppers hot, are used in muscle patches for sore and aching muscles.
- Chile peppers are relatives of tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants, all belonging to the nightshade family.
- The color extracted from very red chile pepper pods, oleoresin, is used in everything from lipstick to processed meats.
entréeentrée, as do some of my friends. Me? While I love Janos' nachos and eat some of hers, I have yet to get past Janos' jerked pork entrée. Here's his menu description of it. Note the chile used.
THE ORIGINAL JERKED PORK