Well, it’s that time of year again when you can smell chile on every block in New Mexico. Yes, that’s right, it is time to roast some chile.
Chile roasting season is upon New Mexico. The season, which generally lasts from late July to September, is a well-known time for most here in the Land of Enchantment.
But that is not all.
Hatch Chile Festival celebrates it’s 50th anniversary in September this year. The festival will feature (as always) a parade, carnival, chile roasting, restaurants, food vendors, craft vendors, entertainment, chile eating and watermelon eating contests, and fun for the kids.
This will be a great way to finish out the season.
For now though, be ready to be lured in with that indescribable smell. That smokey-sweet smell we all know and love can make the soul feel right.
New Mexico hosts the chile capital in Hatch Valley. NM won the right to that title in 2019 when Colorado’s governor and our own governor started a battle between chiles. New Mexico claimed victory in the Chile War with a Hatch green chile and cheese bratwurst at Colorado Rockies games.
Chile wars aside, green chile has been and always will be a necessity (maybe even an addiction) to locals. To some it is spicy but to others it is a flavorful staple.
No it isn’t for everyone, but that just means more for the rest of us.
People can get peppers almost anywhere. Most recommend the Hatch Green Chile Store, but you can also find it at your local Rio Rancho and Bernalillo Albertsons locations. At the Hatch store, five pounds of green chile costs about $65. They offer it chopped or whole and various heat levels are available. At Albertsons a box of chile is about $29.75, plus an extra charge if you want it roasted. That is about 25 pounds of chile.
If you are worried about storing that much chile, fret not. Chile can be frozen and kept for a long time. It can also be made into stew, added to food, eaten by itself or used as a sauce.
Or go crazy and make stuffed chile shells.
No matter your beliefs or recipes, chile is what unites New Mexicans.