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LEAN AND GREEN You can find the slim, distinctive chiles called long greens or Anaheims growing in areas throughout the Southwest United States, but by almost universal assent, the ones cultivated around Hatch, New Mexico, are the best. Supposedly the local soil, altitude, and rainfall provide conditions that make these chiles especially full in flavor. Although both the green and the red (that is, ripe) chiles are popular for cooking, an almost cultlike following has developed around the green-chile harvest. In New Mexico, folks will hit a roadside stand, buy a bushel of chiles, and have them roasted on the spot. Central Market does its best to recreate this annual ritual in Texas: From August 23 to September 1 (the dates may vary depending on the crop), tumble roasters will be outside the stores, Hatch-chile sausage wraps will be on sale, and people will be able to try green chile-spiked goodies like meat loaf and hamburgers. At Blue Mesa Grill (all five locations in the Metroplex), customers can get a chile hit in dishes ranging from pozole to grilled mahimahi tacos. And during the first half of September, Chuy's will be hosting its fifteenth annual green-chile festival (its chiles are grown near Deming, fifty miles from Hatch). There will be roasters in the parking lot, chiles for sale, and special green-chile menu items.

Tags: FOOD

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