Tue 25 Nov, 2008 09:35 am
Following that old liberal adage "there's always room for improvement"
New Mexico 6-4 chile was created in 1957 by Roy Harper. It was a less-hot version of a variety called New Mexico No. 6. The variety is popular with green chile processors.
The NuMex Big Jim, released by Roy Nakayama in 1975, produces mild to hot, long, thick, smooth, fleshy peppers, often used for dishes such as chile rellenos. It is also listed in the Guinness Book of World of Records as the world's largest chile.
Bosland and his colleagues at the institute decided to get the varieties back to their old selves, so to speak.
In 2002, they obtained the original seed of both varieties, frozen in liquid nitrogen, from the USDA's National Seed Storage Lab in Fort Collins, Colo. From there, the researchers worked to create breeding lines for new varieties that would capture the original flavor of the chilies while making improvements to help farmers stay competitive.
"Now, both varieties have much more flavor compounds, better yield and better plant habits. With these new guys, when you roast them the smell is much stronger and the chile flavor is so much more intense. My mouth is watering just talking about them," said Danise Coon, the Chile Institute's program coordinator.
Coon said characteristics of the new varieties include high yield, uniform heat level, easy de-stemming and traditional flavor.
I'm not following the thread title. But I do love green chiles.
I hope they kept the heat profiles. The worst thing ever done to chiles was the TAM jalapeno.
The grocery stores here roast the chilis in big barrels, during chili season, out in the parking lot. The aroma is irresitible, making it impossible to get into the store without buying a big bag of freshly roasted chilis.
I agree, Diane. A local market here roasts those chilis in front of the store (these are the big ones used for making chilis rellenos and rajas). I could resist them only once, that was when a very large man sneezed into the barrel. I know I shouldn't be so sensitive, but he did seem ill.