Green chile roastings ready to heat up Southern California

Green chile roastings ready to heat up Southern California
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / For The Times)

Hatch green chile, which started to trickle in to Southern California markets last weekend, should be in full flood starting Saturday. There are nearly a dozen roastings scheduled at local grocery stores from San Juan Capistrano to Sawtelle this weekend, with similar numbers set through the rest of August.

Green chile roastings, which started as a minor curiosity here, have turned into a full-fledged mania. There are at least 40 scheduled for the area in August and September, with the first coming this weekend.


If somehow you've missed out on this before, most of these chiles come from the Hatch Valley in southwestern New Mexico. It is important to buy from a reputable dealer, and that the bags be labeled "Hatch" – because green chile has become so popular, unscrupulous vendors are selling "Hatch" green chiles from Mexico and Texas, endangering the real thing.

Chiles, which are to New Mexican food what the tomato is to Italian, are harvested in the fresh green and dried red forms. When they're harvested fresh, they should be peeled before cooking – hence the roastings.

Typically, a roaster will set up at a store with what looks like a giant bingo drum suspended over a propane flame. You buy the chiles (typically by the bushel) and take them to the roaster. He turns them in the drum for a few minutes – just enough to char the skin – and gives them back to you.

Green chiles prepared this way can be frozen as-is to be pulled out and used throughout the year.

For more information on these events, including times and costs, contact the individual stores.


Albertsons La Habra, 1800 W. Whittier Blvd., La Habra

Northgate Norwalk, 11660 E. Firestone Blvd., Norwalk

Northgate West Covina, 1320 W. Francisquito Ave., West Covina

Ralphs Costa Mesa, 380 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa

Ralphs Huntington Beach, 5241 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach


Northgate Anaheim, 720 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim

Northgate Bell, 6801 S. Atlantic Ave., Bell


Ralphs Carlsbad, 7140 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad

Ralphs Los Angeles, 11727 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles

Ralphs San Juan Capistrano, 31874 Del Obispo St., San Juan Capistrano

Ralphs Villa Park, 17801 Santiago Blvd., Villa Park


Albertsons Arcadia, 298 E. Live Oak Ave., Arcadia

Albertsons Rancho Cucamonga, 8850 Foothill Blvd., Rancho Cucamonga

Bristol Farms Rolling Hills, 837 Silver Spur Road, Rolling Hills Estates

Gelson's Silver Lake, 2725 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles

Lazy Acres, 2080 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach

Northgate Buena Park, 6991 Lincoln Ave., Buena Park

Northgate Paramount, 16259 Paramount Blvd., Paramount

Northgate Santa Ana, 770 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana

Ralphs Pasadena, 3601 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

Ralphs Tustin, 13321 Jamboree Road, Tustin


Northgate Anaheim, 720 W. La Palma Ave., Anaheim

Northgate Los Angeles, 425 S. Soto St., Los Angeles

Northgate Los Angeles, 944 E. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles


Albertsons Carpinteria, 1018 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria

Albertsons Costa Mesa, 2300-C Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa

Bristol Farms South Pasadena, 606 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena

Bristol Farms Westchester, 8448 Lincoln Blvd., Westchester

Gelson's La Canada Flintridge, 635 Foothill Blvd., La Canada Flintridge

Northgate Escondido, 606 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido

Northgate La Puente, 831 N. Hacienda Blvd., La Puente

Northgate Pico Rivera, 9101 E. Telegraph Road, Pico Rivera

Ralphs Huntington Beach, 19081 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach

Ralphs La Canada Flintridge, 521 Foothill Blvd., La Canada Flintridge

Ralphs San Clemente, 903 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente

Sprouts Chula Vista, 690 3rd Ave., Chula Vista


Northgate El Monte, 3828 N. Peck Road, El Monte

Northgate Long Beach, 2038 E. 10th St., Long Beach

Ralphs Huntington Beach, 19081 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach

Ralphs Tustin, 13321 Jamboree Road, Tustin

Sprouts Chula Vista, 878 Eastlake Parkway, Chula Vista


Albertsons Montebello, 2469 Via Campo, Montebello

Albertsons Reseda, 19307 Saticoy St., Reseda

Bristol Farms Newport, 810 Avocado Ave., Newport

Bristol Farms Santa Monica, 1165 Franklin St., Santa Monica