Growing up in Colorado, I never thought twice about ordering my omelettes or burritos “smothered,” it’s just what you did. A burrito simply wasn’t complete unless it was covered in this magical sauce known as green chile.
It wasn’t until this summer at LC training that I realized that green chile wasn’t a common thing. Many of my teammates had never even heard of green chile. WHAT??
How do I even begin to explain it. Is it a vegetable, is it a sauce, maybe a stew? The correct answer is all three.
Vegetable- Spiciness comes from a chemical called Capsaicin which is concentrated in the membranes surrounding the seeds, so this can be made more mild by removing the membranes. The chiles are normally roasted so the tough skins can be removed. This process creates the delicious flavor that I love! By the end of summer, the green pods have ripened and turn into a deep red color. As the chile ripens, the flavor also changes and becomes more sweet. Green chiles are often frozen so that we can enjoy the other types of green chile year round.
Sauce- My personal favorite! You can put this on literally anything, burritos, chicken, eggs, you name it. Most places that serve green chile give you a choice of medium or hot. My favorite way to order it though is 50/50 – just the right amount of kick!
Stew- This form of green chile doesn’t always look the most appetizing, but I promise it is delicious! Green in color, this stew can contain many vegetables, the most important is of course the hatch green chile. Though there are vegetarian versions, the stew is most commonly made with pork. Add a tortilla to the side and you’re all set!
If you like a little spice in your life, I hope that you will try green chile the next time you see it on the menu!