Report from the Chile Fields, Part 2

Posted by: Dave DeWitt


I've already reported on the good green chile crop from the southern part of the state--coming two weeks earlier than usual.  That's the result of perfect weather--hot and dry--and just enough irrigation.  In fact, it's being called "ideal conditions."  But that doesn't mean that the chile will be cheaper.  Expect a slight price increase, although many vendors have vowed to keep the prices the same as last year.  Here in Albuquerque, the roasting has begun and the wonderful harvest aroma is spreading over the city.  Pat Romero, who owns The Fruit Basket in the North Valley said; "As far as flavor, as far as heat, it's a lot better than last year."  Some chile aficionados who roast their own on their gas grills throw roasting parties where they feast on freshly roasted chiles as if they were a snack food.  It is rumored that beer is often consumed--just to initially soothe the mouth, I hear.

New Mexico's State Vegetable is not a vegetable, of course.  Botanically it's a berry, and horticulturally it's a fruit.  It's often served with co-State Vegetable, pinto beans.  They're not a vegetable either, but rather a legume.  What were those state legislators thinking about when they passed those bills?  The real state vegetable is the number one farm crop--alfalfa.  But that's for cows and horses!

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