From what I have read at other sites, it seems like the most of the Hatch harvest has been exported country-wide. DC. South Florida - a friend bought three pounds in West Palm last weekend. Texas, although I would guess that Texas has also has had a steady yearly supply. The MidWest. Even New England. This is so weird. Or it's a very, very clever marketing ploy on the part of the Hatch growers.
I'm in SoCal. We've been lucky enough to get Hatch, and local roastings for years. This year, our in-town Kroger incarnation has a Hatch display! Never happened before. [And they are Big Jims! Great hot spicy taste.] A small, local upscale chain actually roasted here last weekend, also Big Jims. Never happened before. And the other small regional chain where I've bought Hatch since their opening a few years ago [saving me a 40 minute drive to a sale/roast], has a much smaller supply of Hatch than in past years.
It's kind of bizarre ...
The Hatch Chiles name gets abused just like The Hass (Often misspelled Haas) Avocado name. So do Vidalia Onions.
People think in order to be called a Hass Avocado, it must come from California when in fact they also come from Mexico, Central America and South America.
Conversely, "Big Jim" Chiles, while they were first grown at NM State University in the 1970's, and are grown in the Hatch NM area, they are now grown in other states & countries as well and are often passed off as Hatch Chilies.
So just because some grocery marketer passes them off as "Hatch" Chiles, they may not have come from the Hatch NM area.
And having been to the Hatch NM area several times and seeing how they're grown, I seriously doubt that the area could produce all the Chiles that are sold as "Hatch" Chiles.
I'll bet those "Hatch" Chiles you have in California were actually grown in CA.
As a matter of fact, Chile production in NM is on the decline:
"“Maintaining our brand is important,” Representative Martinez said, even if for a declining industry. In 2011, chile peppers were harvested along 9,500 acres of land. Nearly a decade earlier in 1992, harvested fields covered more than 34,000 acres, according to the New Mexico Chile Association
Here's an article on the subject; http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/us/new-mexico-seeks-new-ways-to-protect-homegrown-chile-peppers.html?_r=0
<message edited by Foodbme on Sun, 08/25/13 4:02 AM>