Roasting Season for Hatch Chile Will Soon Sizzle

The fiery New Mexico fruit will be tumbling inside hot roasters around Southern California before too long; you can order yours now.

Susan Vineyard

What to Know

  • El Rey Farms kicks off its Hatch chile ordering season on July 15 each year
  • Several SoCal grocery stores will also roast the spicy favorite in August and September; Ralph's, Bristol Farms, and Pavilions have all roasted it in years past
  • Fans often freeze the fiery fruit and use it in winter stews and dishes

Calling upon tried-and-true mnemonic devices to remember something important?

Plenty of people do, in several different ways, by employing acronyms or other handy tricks to gain instant recall of an important topic or task.

And if you remember something along the lines of "when it gets hot, it also gets hot" around the middle of July, then you might just be the sort of person who never, ever wants to forget that green chile season begins on July 15.

No, you can't find the fiery Hatch fruit in a roaster come mid-July, but that's the delicious date when El Rey Farms in Whittier traditionally begins taking orders.

Those requests will be fulfilled in August and early September, when truck after truck brimming with sacks filled with the flavorful New Mexico icon rolls into Southern California.

But before heat fans can pick up a burlap bag and head home? It will be roasted, all to give it a crackly coating and release that one-of-a-kind fragrance.

Is the aroma of a freshly roasted green chile pepper the true fragrance of fall?

Plenty of chileheads, as well as denizens of The Land of Enchantment, claim it to be, and we wouldn't quibble with such a sensible scentful stance.

You'll want to check in with El Rey Farms about pick-up details and dates when you place your order, and of course, traditional options include choosing your level of hotness, with "mild" usually serving as the unscorchiest-to-the-tongue level and XXHot, or similar, providing the biggest zing of heat.

As August grows closer, local grocery stores may start revealing their own roasting dates, which usually happen on Saturdays and Sundays as autumn grows nearer. Ralph's, Bristol Farms, and other markets have all set up the roasters in their parking lots.

A fresh list of 2022 roasting dates is now available on the #iHatchChile site, from Melissa's Produce. Southern California spots include Gelson's in Manhattan Beach on Aug. 6, Pavilions in Burbank on Aug. 13, and several other locations.

Check out the full list here, and sign up for email updates about the 2022 green chile roasting season.

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