Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hatch Chile Time

 Everyone knows the national seasons, even if the spring-summer-fall-winter quartet vary in local length or intensity (I'm thinking about Maine's eight-month winter and Phoenix's summer days of 117F.)

But Hill Country residents are gifted with more.

Among my favorites is Hatch Chile Season, a time with a smoky tang to the air and a tingle to the tongue, two weeks in August at HEB, the national grocery store of Texas. 

Hatch, New Mexico chiles (long green pod-type chiles, relative of Anaheim peppers but more transcendent), fresh from Hatch valley farms, roasted in front of HEBs and upscale cousin Central Markets all around Texas.  

My long-time friends might remember my virgin Hatch experience.  Since then I've learned a few things.  Among them that akin to eating chocolate, Hatch chile-ation is better the more we do it.

Which is a good thing, since there are pounds of roasted Hatch chiles in my freezer...

Copyright 2009-2011 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

4 comments :

Desert Dweller said...

Right now, leaving every grocery store here (even driving down some roads), the scent of roasting chile can be intoxicating! A favorite thing here is when you get home with your roasted gunny sack, you put some on a warmed, fresh tortilla, and devour.

That's cool you can now get roasted chiles there!

N2 said...

I looked up your virgin Hatch chili experience and it seems you freeze them one to a bag. They must be Hot!

We have a chili roaster at our farmer's market, but since I live here in the land of all things gourmet, that translates to expensive. I make the budget variety by charring my chili's on my wood-fire BBQ.

I am in awe of your 7lbs in the freezer! x0 N2

Pit said...

Hi Kathleen,
And what about the four seasons of Texas, which are, as far as I know:
winter, summer, summer and summer!
Best regards,
Pit

SECRET PEPPER PERSON: said...

Hmmmmm...not too sure about this. I would have to have a chilli guide for my first experience.