It's Getting Chile Out, at Select Ralphs

Hatch chile roasting season opens at select Ralphs locations; find the roasting session closest to you now.

What to Know

  • Ralphs stores (select locations)
  • Aug. 4 through Sept. 9 (select weekend dates)
  • Fresh roasted chile for purchase

Look, it happens.

No one anticipates it. We try and avoid it. But sometimes? Your breakfast burrito underwhelms on the spicy end of the scale. Your posole lacks panache. And the carne adovada you'd hoped would sing with flavorful heat is on the blander side.

But early August is an auspicious time of year for fiery food-makers and eaters-of-hot-stuff, for that's when the first truckloads of fresh Hatch chile begin to arrive in Southern California. 

Hatch chile?

You know it: These are the world-famous peppers grown in Hatch, New Mexico, and they out-zest just about every other famous zesty pepper out there, once they're roasted and added to a host of classic caliente dishes.

The Hatch chile's celebrity is well-earned, and soon it shall be well-eaten, for roasting season at select Ralphs grocery stores around Southern California will begin on Saturday, Aug. 4.

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Up first? The Ralphs at 521 W. Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge, beginning at 8 a.m. on Aug. 4 and ending by 2 o'clock.

Temecula is next, on Aug. 5, and there are more Ralphs roastings to come, with Studio City, Pasadena, Costa Mesa, and San Clemente all on the luscious, pile-it-on list.

Check the whole fragrant roster out ASAP.

We do mean "fragrant," by the way, for if you can't find the roaster outside the Ralphs with your GPS, your nose will probably lead you to it.

You can make reservations for your chile, by the by. The first weekend is filled up, reservations-wise, but walk-ups are a-okay. Reservations are open for later weekends.

And surely you'll pile your green chile on, once it is nicely roasted, skinned, and chopped? Onto quesadillas and enchiladas and, gulp, even vanilla ice cream? 

Some people do, is all we're saying. No judgement. Only admiration.

Superfans who dig their Hatch chile will want bundles of it, during this fairly tight window, so best arrive earlier in the day at whatever Ralphs you visit, if you want to score your stuff.

Chileheads are an intense lot, as they should be, for once you're under the spell of the pod, that's that: You're chile for life.

As far as the final day on the Ralphs 2018 roasting schedule?

No one anticipates it. We try and avoid it. But, sigh: Sunday, Sept. 9 is the date to watch, with two locations still to be determined.

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