A couple of days ago, I blogged about the wonderful aroma of green chiles roasting and how it signaled the start of fall in Las Cruces, NM. A comment by Ed Kurosz got me to thinking. He asked "What do green chiles taste like?"
I couldn't think of an answer. How do I describe the most wonderful taste in the world?
So I went to the one place where I knew there would be great answers...Facebook. Answers ranged from "Like nothing you have ever tasted before" to "Heaven with Heat" to "Tastes like home".
One of my favorite answers was: "Green chile is like laying on a grassy knoll with all the aromas of the area coming together to enhance your senses and then it slaps you in the face and says "Hey I am green chile! I add so much flavor to your food with just the right amount of spice you will never eat anything again without me damn it!"
Green Chile is the Mesilla Valley. From the moment we hear that the harvest has started, our mouths begin to water. I kid you not - the first fall I was on the radio in Las Cruces, I had a listener call in and announce: "You need to let folks know - I just saw the first truck filled with green chile on the road." I didn't think much of it until I talked about it. My phone lit up - "Where was it?" "Which way was it heading?" "Do you know when Albertson's is getting their first batch?" (Albertson's is a local grocery store.)
I didn't realize (event though I grew up in El Paso, Texas) just how important that announcement was. It is as important as your favorite sports' team's new schedule. It means that the farmers have had a successful harvest and agriculture is just as important as it was 100 years ago. It means our valley is fertile and alive.
It also means the smell of roasting chile will be filling the parking lots of grocery stores, the farmer's market and national hardware stores. Yes, Lowe's and Home Depot pull out their roasters. It means restaurants will be featuring green chile cheeseburgers, green chile lasagna (mmmmmm), green chile - well, everything is better with green chile.
I missed it when I lived in DC. If I could, I would bottle the smell and become a millionaire. It's time for me to go scrape off my grill, hit the store and get to roasting.