This afternoon I was driving down north 4th and it hit me. The real reason I live in New Mexico.

For several weeks now, at the Walmart on Coors Bypass there's been caution tape around a wall of shopping carts, and off in the corner a propane tank and a blackened metal cage.

But today, there was the aroma of fresh roasted green chile. I'd venture to say that there are few, if any, other locales in the U.S. that have a comparable aroma announcing a season. You don't smell the leaves turning red in the northeast. Maybe you smell the grunions running at Cabrillo Beach, but it's not much different than any other day of the year.

I think I love the smell of fresh roasted chile more than I love eating them even. Ai DIos Mio! If someone could only bottle that scent! I've often toyed with the idea of just buying a bag and driving around with it in my trunk, enjoying the slowly released fragrance, that smoky goodness with the tantalizing tang of scorched capsaicin.
It's certainly a good roasting that does it. After the heady dose of Hatch Perfume, I was compelled to swing by Spinn's for a Green Chile burger. Instead of roasted chile, I was treated to a barely warmed and peeled firebrand. Feh!

Forget your chamomile or valerian or hops, le sublime odeur de chili vert is the ultimate comfort scent. Maybe if I was to stuff my pillow with the stuff my dreams would be sweeter (and spicier!!)

Views: 36

Comment by cathyray on August 14, 2009 at 9:29am
there is not much in the world that is better than the smell of green chili roasting wafting through the air!!
Comment by mombat on August 14, 2009 at 9:41am
I went out this morning to check on the rain barrels and there was the smell of roasting chile, faint but yummy.
It reminded me to throw a bag of last year's into the provisions for this weekend's camping trip.
When I was at UNM I lived in an apartment near the Frontier for a while. I never got tired of the roasting chile smell, even through it went on for a month.
Comment by SweetCaroline on August 14, 2009 at 11:16am
I bought a sack of fresh roasrted chiles at the Fruit Basket on 4th Street. As I was putting it in the trunk of my car, a very elderly Hispanic man came hurrying up to me. He asked me to please not close my trunk 'just yet'. Then he leaned down and inhaled deeply. The look on his face was pure bliss! That's why I live in New Mexico!
Comment by once banned twice shy on August 14, 2009 at 12:18pm
How about we bottle it and call it "Eau du chile roti?"

And please people. It is CHILE, not CHILI. Chili is some nasty bean and meat stuff you get in Texas. Or Ohio.
Comment by cc on August 14, 2009 at 12:18pm
Fresh-roasted green chile in trunks!
Last time I et at Frontier (last week) I realized that my fave way to eat fresh-roasted green chile is in their Western Hashbrowns - there was the nicest bunch of this new year's crop piled onto my cheezy hashbrowns - so flavorful! Hot enough but not too hot.
Comment by April on August 14, 2009 at 1:16pm
I live in New Orleans and recently got a batch from the Whole Foods Market out here. They stock it only during August and all of the employees where badges that say "Hatch Crop '09 is Now in!" I roasted it at my house last Saturday in the oven and then prepared Chile Rellenos for my friends. I offered up a dish to my friend, a Native New Orleanian with the preface of "Do you like spicy foods?" His answer was "Of course! I'm from Louisiana!" He dug into the spicy green stuff and his immediate reaction was "Holy cow this is hot! You guys actually eat this stuff?!" to which I responded "Yes, of course, for breakfast, mostly."
Comment by Dick Chingadero on August 14, 2009 at 3:41pm
once banned twice shy said"And please people. It is CHILE, not CHILI. Chili is some nasty bean and meat stuff you get in Texas. Or Ohio."

Hee hee!! I used to manage the advertising department for Furr's Supermarkets. There was an ongoing debate about this. Everytime we would turn our ads in for proofing, someone (usually a Texan, but as often as not, an NM native) would change Chile to Chili. And I would instruct my graphic artists to let is stand. And someone would throw a fit when they saw it in print, exclaiming "Chile is a country in South America!".

It eventually came to a head in a meeting with the executives.

"Chile," I explained, "is a vegetable. Chili, is a dish, often prepared with chiles."

There were sour looks from the CHILI camp. But these were the same people who could not see the difference between "Can Food" and "Canned Food." (They preferred the former. I guess they had a lot of cans to feed.)

The VP of Marketing -- a laid-back Californian -- sided with me and Chile became policy.

Oddly enough, while Chile is a country, I used to live in the town of Chili, NY (near Rochester.) It was pronounced Chy-Lie.
Comment by Dick Chingadero on August 14, 2009 at 3:42pm
But of course, all that asks the question of when it goes from being chile to being chili?
Comment by SweetieDarling on August 14, 2009 at 3:48pm
Yummy yummy yum yum yum!!!! Enough said! :o)
Comment by jeff on August 14, 2009 at 3:54pm
chile to chili? the instant the powder hits the tomato sauce.

ever been anywhere near gilroy during the garlic harvest?

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