Drive through New Mexico in late August or early September when the chile harvest is in full swing, and you’re all but guaranteed to catch the aroma of fire-roasted chiles in the air.
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Locals purchase 40-pound burlap sacks of green or red chiles, then stand in line—usually in a parking lot or at a roadside stand—to have their chiles roasted to spec in a flame-kissed rotisserie drum. Chiles tumble; the fire roars; chile smells hang like a thick fog; people make small talk about the number of sacks they’re buying this year.
New Mexican Bean-and-Cheese Turnovers with Green ChileThese chile-drenched turnovers bring the heat (along with the beans and cheese).
To say that New Mexicans are obsessed with chiles is a gross understatement, akin to saying Texans occasionally take a mild interest in barbecue. There’s lots to learn about chiles in New Mexico, as I found out when I road-tripped across the state in Episode 1 of the second season of On the Road with Bryan Roof.