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Best Local Flavor

Hatch Chili Roasting
ABCO Markets Parking Lots
19 Locations

STAFF PICK: Toward the end of August, ABCO markets set up gas powered chili roasters in their parking lots, and offer free roasting to anyone buying a gunny sack of chiles. They offer both mild and hot, and the chiles are always fresh off the truck from Hatch, New Mexico, the nation's chile capital. The roasting itself is a spectacle not to be missed: a sackful of chiles is poured into a blackened, cylindrical cage, and the operator fires it up. Stand back! The searing heat, the roar of the flames, the scent of hundreds of chiles roasting is a hypnotic experience. Once roasted, the chiles are easy to peel. Buy a sack for now and a sack to freeze for the winter. Take your inspiration from the tamale moms buying five gunny sacks at a time. If you can't eat a gunny sack of green chiles, maybe you moved to the wrong town.

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