Hatch Chile Season is too short! It feels like you blink once and then they’re gone. These delicious chiles are just another reason to savor each season and the fabulous produce that goes with it. As the sign says, it’s now or next year!
My friends from the Inland Empire Food Bloggers group, Natalie, Angel and I were blessed again this year to attend Melissa’s Produce Hatch Chile Roasting at Bristol Farms in Palm Dessert. Not only did we buy Hatch Chiles to take home, we got an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at how each department in Bristol Farms prepares for Roasting Day. The staff there is amazing! We had so much fun and learned a lot about our favorite chiles!
If you’ve never attended a Melissa’s or Bristol Farms Hatch Chile roasting event, I highly recommend it! Especially if you love Hatch Chiles. Roasting events are the time to sample all the deliciously different ways to add Hatch chiles to your recipes, and of course, stock up on freshly roasted chiles! I’m a Hatch Head, I admit it. Since discovering this versatile chile, I’ve fallen in love with it and look forward to the roasting events every summer.
What makes Hatch Chiles so special? We asked Anthony from Melissa’s Produce that very question! His response was because of the unique growing region in Hatch New Mexico, chiles are exposed to high temperatures during the day and much cooler temperatures at night. This helps create the thicker walls of a Hatch Chile, along with it’s distinct flavor. They’ve tried to grow the same plants outside of this fertile valley and while the peppers are good, they don’t have the same flavor of a traditional Hatch Chile. Now you see why it’s important to get them while they’re hot!
Here’s a list of where you can find one of the last few Melissa’s roasting events for this year: Melissa’s Produce Roasting Events
Check out this small sampling of Hatch items available to purchase throughout Bristol Farms on roasting day:
There were even Hatch Chile Crab Cakes! Oh my goodness! Everything looked so good! Those Salmon rolls with cream cheese and Hatch Chiles may have followed me home and they were amazing!
Can you imagine all the quesadillas, grilled cheese and egg dishes you could make with that wheel of cheese? WOW! Now I’m getting hungry again!
There were a lot of freshly prepared foods too! Mac and Cheese, Ravioli, chicken breasts, Falafel and so much more!
Even the bakery had their share of Hatch Chile cakes, cupcakes with Hatch frosting, cookies, cake pops and even these, cream cheese, chocolate dipped fresh Hatch Chiles!
And did I mention Pizza?
And speaking of this small sampling, we did a lot of sampling ourselves that day too! Bristol Farms had tastings all over the store! Here’s a video we did on live on Facebook showing off a few of the tasty tidbits we tried!
CLICK ON THE LINK TO VIEW IT!: JLXL7597
The culinary staff at Bristol Farms went out of their way to showcase this unique pepper and our taste buds will be forever grateful! Did I mention we had a great time? Mostly because the wonderful staff at Bristol Farms made it so much fun! They were dancing!
CLICK ON THE LINK TO VIEW IT: IMG_7839
Of course, for even more ideas and terrific recipes for creating pepper dishes at home, two of our favorite cookbooks were on sale that day too!
If you’d like to buy one of these yourself, you can find them on Amazon or purchase directly through Melissa’s Produce website!
All this fun did not detract from the real reason for our visit – freshly roasted chiles! Sold by the case, Hatch hiles are available in different heat levels. I choose mild, but Natalie from “The Devil Wears Parsley” and Angel from “Barrel-Aged Vegetarian” choose medium and hot! Talk about brave! They were going to get hotter Hatch Chiles, but since they planned on freezing most of them, (Hatch Chiles get hotter the longer they’re in the freezer), they stayed on the safe side. We were very excited to hear the roasters fire up and smell the unmatched, heady aroma of Hatch Chiles being roasted!
Thank you Melissa’s Produce and Bristol Farms for a wonderful day! Inspired by such deliciousness, I can’t wait to get creative in the kitchen with my bounty of Hatch Chiles. What’s your favorite way to have Hatch Chiles?
Some of my favorite recipes can be found here: My Imperfect Kitchen Hatch Chile Pinterest Board
Last years event: Roasting in Palm Dessert
I can’t wait to hear how you Hatch! Share your favorite Hatch recipes or foods with me in the comments below! Until next time, my friends, have a delicious day!