It was late July of last year. We were in Lafayette, LA, and were making a weekly stop at Rouse's supermarket for groceries.
We parked the truck at some distance (as is my usual practice) from the entrance. Upon exiting, we were met with an aroma that was not common to the area, yet was not unknown to us.
It didn't take long to locate the origin of the aroma (the smoke rising from the revolving basket) and the objects being roasted (the semi-trailer parked nearby with the words "HATCH CHILES" painted on its side left no doubt). Rouse's was roasting the king of chiles--the green chiles from Hatch, New Mexico.
Ahhh. If only we had had more freezer space....
Which brings us to our recent visit to the "Chile Capital of the World." Located off Interstate 25, between Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences, the Village of Hatch has experienced steady but moderate growth. In 2007, the town population registered a little over 1,600 people.
Labor Day weekend heralds the annual Hatch Chile Festival, a two-day celebration of the world-famous crop. The festival attracts over 30,000 visitors from all over the United States, including such notables as the Food Network and the BBC.
The scenes pictured below show men working with dried red chiles. These chiles are woven into hanging bunches or bagged for shipment.
And year-round enjoyment.