An Anaheim pepper is a mild variety of the New Mexico chile pepper. The name "Anaheim" derives from Emilio Ortega, a farmer who brought the seeds to the Anaheim, California, area in the early 1900s. They are also called California chile or Magdalena, and dried as chile seco del norte. Since Anaheim peppers originated from New Mexico, they are also sometimes known as New Mexico peppers. Additionally, in New Mexico they are often referred to simply as "chile" because they are so ubiquitous. Varieties of the pepper grown in New Mexico tend to be hotter than those grown in California.
The chile "heat" of Anaheims typically ranges from 500 to 2,500 on the Scoville scale; however, typical cultivars grown in New Mexico range from 500 to 10,000 Scoville units.
New Mexican cultivars were developed in the state by Dr. Fabian Garcia, whose major release was the New Mexico No. 9 in 1913. These cultivars are "hotter" than others in order to suit the tastes of New Mexicans in their traditional foods. The hottest cultivars (e.g. NuMex XXHot) can be as hot as 70,000 Scoville units, indicating large genetic variability. Chiles grown around the town of Hatch are marketed under the name of the town and are often sold fresh-roasted in New Mexico and neighboring states in the early autumn.
This chile is used in many Mexican and New Mexican dishes.