hatch chile roast

Hatch chiles are only here once a year—in August and September—and that’s why you might find us Hatch-heads going a little nuts. Grown exclusively in the Land of Enchantment (New Mexico), Hatch chiles have a reputation among foodies as the best peppers grown in the U.S. and some people say the world. The Hatch chile has the same shape as its Anaheim cousin, but has firmer flesh and a greater range of flavor, from mild to medium. It’s that strong New Mexico sun, those cool nights, and the mineral-rich soil that makes the flavor so distinct. Hatches are hardly ever eaten raw; it’s when they’re roasted that the smoky richness and depth of flavor really shine. If you buy them fresh, we recommend roasting over an open flame to get the absolute best flavor possible. Once roasted, they're easy to seed and make a great Southwesterny addition to almost any dish. Hatches have a short harvest season—just six weeks! So come get them while they’re hot!

With the help of Melissa's Produce, eight exciting New Mexico Hatch Chile Roasting events are being held in front of select Bristol Farms stores. Although we will be roasting in eight locations only, product will be available in all stores starting August 8, 2016.

We invite you c'mon down and awaken your senses with the world's best chile! Click here for a pdf of our roasting dates and times.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we’re not talking about the holiday season. We’re talking about Hatch Chile season! We love the sound of the chile roasters ablaze and the aroma of fresh roasted chiles in the air because this means lots of great, spicy dishes are soon to be enjoyed. Our Chefs incorporate the smoky Hatch chile into as many dishes as they can during the very short season, and the recipes below (plus many more) will be available in store for a limited time. Be sure to get your hands on some of these serious eats while they last. Your taste buds will thank you.

Fresh and Roasted Authentic Hatch Chiles
Get them while they're hot! Available in store are mounds of fresh Hatch chiles in addition to roasted, conveniently pre-packed Hatch chiles in a variety of different heat levels.

Bristol’s Own Hatch Chicken Fiesta Sausage
Grill them up and serve them hot on their own or tucked in a roll. These sausages are kickin’! Also, new to our meat departments this season, we’re proud to offer our Hatch Chile Stuffed Beef Flank Steak, and Hatch Chile Meatloaf, among many others. Stop by and speak with our friendly butchers for all the Hatch products we have to offer.

Bristol’s Own Hatch Chile Cornbread & Scones

The smoky, spicy flavor of roasted Hatch chiles elevates our traditional (and beloved) scone and cornbread. Perfect just as they are, but made even more delicious when you warm them up and add butter. We also love going spicy-sweet by slathering them with honey or maple syrup. Available for a limited time—don’t miss out!

Hatch Chile Cheese Fries
Served up in our café, our Hatch Chile Cheese Fries are just what you've been craving. Piled high French fries are topped with a smoky, spicy Hatch Chile fondue, fresh roasted and diced Hatch chiles, and vine-ripened tomato.

Hatch Chile Guacamole Burger
Come to our café and take a big, juicy bite of this tasty limited edition burger. Smoky, rich Hatch chiles bring the heat and cool, fresh guacamole balances things out deliciously. Available for a limited time—don’t miss out!

Bristol’s Own Hatch Chile Cream Cheese

Smoky, spicy, Hatch Chiles are perfectly rounded out by the cool cream cheese. This cream cheese goes great on a toasted bagel, or as a kicked-up spread on a hyeroller or sandwich. Pick this one up in our Cheese Department!

Bristol’s Own Hatch Chile Potato Salad
It’s quite addicting, so be warned! We have a saying around here when it comes to Hatch; “It’s now or next year!”, and this statement couldn’t ring any more true than with our Hatch Potato Salad. If you are familiar with our regular potato salad, we start with the base and add fresh, roasted Hatch Chiles as well as dried Hatch Chile powder.

Duane Gillis is a fourth generation farmer who grows 1,200 acres of authentic Hatch Chiles at Gillis Farms in Hatch, New Mexico. With a total of 3,300 acres of farmland, Duane also grows onions, squash, and other vegetable products. Duane's unique drip irrigation method, as opposed to the furrow method where fields are flooded, feeds the plants just the right amount of water that they need and results in a chile with thick walls and perfect heat. Using the furrow method risks the plants being overwatered, which can prevent the chiles from developing the proper amount of heat. Temperature also plays an important role in the chile's development; hot days and cool nights is the ideal climate for the perfect Hatch Chile.

Hatch Chile Tips:

1. To test the heat level of a chile, don't bite the tip! The heat is retained within the veins of the chile, so the farther up you bite, the more accurate the heat measurement will be.

2. Roasted chiles freeze better than fresh chiles. We recommend removing the seeds and outer skin of roasted chiles prior to freezing. Chiles can be frozen in an air-tight bag for up to two years.

3. Chiles get hotter when frozen! When chiles are frozen, they lose their moisture and the result is a more concentrated flavor in the chile. So, if you freeze a hot chile, it will be extra hot by the time it is enjoyed.

Bristol Farms visited Duane and Gillis Farms just prior to the Hatch harvesting season to learn more about this year's crop, growing practices, and to have some fun in the fields. We are all looking forward to our best season yet!