Hatch green chiles

Bill Hendricks unloads roasted chiles at the University of New Mexico last year. This year, El Rey Farms is already taking orders. (Ringo H.W. Chiu / For the Times)

Can you feel the heat yet? No, not the temperature outside, but the coming Hatch green chile harvest. Believe it or not, if you’re a chile-head it’s time to start planning. If this is the first you’re hearing of them, you should know that Hatch green chile roasts have become a huge deal and to devotees there isn’t a dish that can’t be improved by the addition of them.

El Rey Farms is taking orders already, for delivery once the harvest starts in early- to mid-August. Prices this year will be $41 for a 38-pound sack (of course, you can save a buck or so per bag by ordering more than four – if you think you’ll go through more than 150 pounds of chile!). They’ll be delivering to their usual spot at La Puente High School every Saturday starting Aug. 10 and running through Sept. 7 – or Sept. 14 if the weather permits.

Albertsons grocery stores have already scheduled their chile roasts as well. They’ll start Aug. 3 in Alhambra and at the South Gate Lucky’s; Aug. 10 in Montebello; Aug. 17 in Rancho Cucamonga and Chula Vista; Aug. 24 in La Habra and Reseda; Aug. 31 in Arcadia and Whittier; and Sept. 7 in Buena Park. It will be $34.99 for a 30-pound sack, no advance notice required, but sales will be limited to what they have on hand. Check the website for updates.

Melissa’s, the big Southern California produce distributor, will be hosting Hatch green chile roasts at selected Bristol Farms, Gelson’s and Sprouts stores, probably beginning Aug. 10. Check the website for further information.

Know of any other public chile roasts we’ve missed? Leave a comment and we’ll include them when we update closer to the harvest.

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