Chile roasting season begins in Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERUQUE, N.M. — It’s already hot in New Mexico, but it’s about to get even hotter because it is green chile season.

“It’s this time of year coming around, and it’s chile season and we were roasting chile, and we were peeling chile and it’s the excitement of it all,” said Pamela Padilla, assistant store director for the Albertsons on Rio Bravo Boulevard.

Dean Olivas has been firing up the roaster at Albertsons for more than 20 years. He said there’s a certain process to make the perfect roasted chile.

“It starts off at high heat, then right towards the end, we slow down the heat so it kind of burns it real good and, as you see, the seeds start coming out of it,” he said.

Then it’s time to cool down the chile.

“After we seal it in a box, you have to let it cool down for a good few hours before we put it in refrigeration,” Olivas added.

And just like that, the iconic New Mexican green chile is roasted, and it’s something that customers can’t wait to get their hands on.

“They ask us when chile is starting, when chile roasting starting, they ask probably in the end of June and beginning of the month of July,” Padilla said.

Olivas said nothing is better than chile from Hatch, New Mexico.

“Where I am from in Texas, it’s not the same, you have to have your chile here in New Mexico.”

The Albertsons location on Rio Bravo Boulevard said they sell up to 875 pounds of chile a day, and 170 cases a week.