Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gimme Gimme Green Chile! (#5)

Freshly-roasted green chiles emerging from a roasting drum.

Roasting drum for green chiles.

From my novel A Western Capitol Hill:

And this green chile isn’t made with just any old variety: no, it’s Hatch green chile. That is, long, green chile pods harvested in Hatch, New Mexico, trucked north in late Summer, and then roasted within steel tubular drums affixed to propane burners, and sold from parking lots in strip malls along Federal Boulevard, the burnt smell emanating, charred, vegetal, from the tents with the red ristras hanging from them.

Oh man, it’s got to be made with Hatch green chile. Hatch, they say, grows the best. There’s something about the soil, the earth, involved. Hatch is holy ground to its devotees like other New Mexican landmarks are to their people or pilgrims: the Indian pueblo at Taos or the church with its sacred dirt in Chimayo.

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