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Fresh Hatch Green Chiles (2013)

Any word on when they'll be here and who will have them? I know it's a little early, but I have a note in my calendar to check around the end of July. Besides, my husband is nagging me..Thanks.

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  1. No responses the first time I asked about this, so I thought I'd try again. Any sightings?

    2 Replies
    1. re: The Librarian

      The Whole Foods outlet in Oakland near Lake Merritt has Young Guns Chile from Hatch. Went yesterday. Very Fresh, bright green and no wrinkling. $0.99/Lb. Got a case that indicated 'Hot'. It was more 'Med' than 'Hot',....I prefer the 'Medium'. The Medium Heat variety is called 'Big Jim'. The really hot ones are 'Sandia'. Seems that the Bay Area outlets don't have much experience or knowledge in what they are selling. I often saw them selling mixed (Mild-Hot) w/o any sign designation. Anyway...roasted them on my gas Weber BBQ. Excellent.

      1. You need to check Raley's website, since that chain of supermarkets has been the most constant source of supply around here. Here's the roasting schedule,

        6 Replies
          1. re: The Librarian

            Note that if your store is listed for multiple weeks, the chiles will probably be on sale one of those weeks. Check with the produce manager.

          2. re: Melanie Wong

            Thanks, I have never managed to remember getting Hatch chiles. I marked my calendar for the nearest Raley's!

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Thanks for the heads up. I got a case roasted at the Petaluma Raley's today. I was a bit hesitant to have them do the roasting but I was glad I did. I think the tumbling action helped loosen the skins,

              Even with that it still took me a entire Giants game to clean and vacuum seal them all. I should be set until next year!

              1. re: Civil Bear

                I also got a case roasted at the Petaluma Raley's! First time with Hatch chiles (I usually roast Poblanos), and first time with the tumbler roasting. It did make getting the skins off easy -- it's the pesky seeds that make me crazy. DH sealed, I peeled/seeded. Took about 3 hours, about 9 pounds in the freezer. Hope they are good!

                Will make chicken chile verde tonight to test them out.

              2. re: Melanie Wong

                North Bay wise, Nob Hill in Napa has always been my go to (.89/pd). Picked up a few pounds today and will roast at home. Whole Foods in Napa as well.

              3. I've had luck at Lucky's (ha. Didn't see the pun.) for fresh.
                I like to roast my own, and my partner has been converted over the past couple years.

                But I'll definitely be at Nob Hill....because I miss the smell from the farmers market.
                You can take the woman out of Colorado, but you can't take the Colorado it of the woman.

                6 Replies
                1. re: truepeacenik

                  Good to know, and for everyone's info, Raley's (or, at least, the Nob Hill on Alameda) has both the fresh and the roasted during the weeks listed for roasting, and this year Aug. 15-19 and 22-26 are listed for Alameda, 11am-6pm. I've found their roasting consistency to be pretty good. I usually remove the outer skins and seeds before freezing, and always find the frozen and thawed version to be quite a bit hotter than the never frozen version. I guess freezing bursts a few more cell walls.

                  1. re: ...tm...

                    Melanie's link has stopped working. Can someone confirm that they're available in Alameda? I was going to drop in there tomorrow. Thanks.

                    1. re: Prabhakar Ragde

                      Here's the google cached copy,

                      You might want to call too in case there's a good reason why that page was taken down.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Thanks, Melanie. I didn't know about the whole google cached copy thing - very useful (and not just for chile roasting schedules)!

                      2. re: Prabhakar Ragde

                        Alameda store has them. Both roasted and fresh. Although the fresh (not in cases) were all mixed up heat wise.

                        1. re: cakebaker

                          Thanks! I called them and they confirmed the roasting times in the cached page.

                  2. Just bought the first batch out of the roaster at San Ramon Raleys today. Medium hot, I am in the middle of peeling them now. They smell awesome!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: KatoK

                      I just bought a case and had them roasted in San Ramon. Chiles are fresh, and the roaster is a nice guy who will roast as long as you want.

                    2. got hatch chilis yesterday at our local raley's outside of sacramento... odd, but some of them were already a bit old. i think they've been in the store about a week now.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: rmarisco

                        They had them last weekend at the Nob Hill (Raleys) that I go to in Mountain View. Great smelling.

                      2. Just got two bags from Berkeley Bowl today. Will grill them myself this weekend.

                        1. Ray's Food Place, Cloverdale has a bunch,fresh. Arrived few days ago..

                          1. Also Sprouts Farmers Markets has them from Young Guns in Hatch NM. .79 lb they are selling them for $19.50 25#case. I think their quality is better. Bought Young Guns last year and loved them. They have stores mainly in southbay but I got mine at the Sprouts in Walnut Creek.
                            They don't roast at these stores (apparently they do in SoCal )but I prefer to roast them myself on a gas grill anyway. I've found the barrel roasted one from Nob Hill are over roasted and mushy. This way they hold their shape better for more options later and a whole case can be done in a short time.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: cakebaker

                              Since this is not a long standing tradition here, some of the personnel have no experience with roasting and need coaching. I watched one hapless staffer at Raley's until his customers asked me if it should take this long (30 minutes!). I told him to turn up the gas flame to full blast, otherwise he's just giving them a suntan. When the roaster goes with full flame for just a few minutes, the outside gets charred without turning the insides mushy. And the tumbling action helps loosen up the skins for easier peeling.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                The ones I got from Raley's Alameda were not well-roasted. Those whose skins came off easily were mushy, and the larger chiles were still firm with no hope of getting the skin off. What I could salvage was tasty, but next time I will do it myself, even if I have to use a four-burner gas stove to do it.

                                1. re: Prabhakar Ragde

                                  If you are able, roast them yourself. Any charcoal or gas-fired BBQ works fine. Oven works okay too, I guess. Set it to go as high/hot as possible (500 deg+) I cut off the stem and remove the seeds before roasting. It makes the chile much easier to clean afterwards. 7 minutes per side is all that it needs to blister/blacken the skins. Place the roasted chile in a plastic zip lock bag with paper towel. The steam will help to cook the chile so that skins are much easier to remove. Allow chile to cool in the bag (~2 hours). The skins will peel off easily if you use the plastic bag method. Word to the wise: Use latex gloves when removing seeds, or while peeling the finished chile. The chile oils can get really nasty, and burn eyes, mouth, other sensitive parts of your body....if you know what I mean. I am married to a New Mexico native, and have been roasting our own here in the Bay Area for 10 years.

                                  1. re: bee54wee

                                    Put them in the broiler. Works like a charm.

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                      In the past I've roasted mine on the grill (as I mentioned on the California thread, having the store where I buy them, Raley's in Merced, roast them, isn't an option)...but I just used the broiler for a batch, and yes, you are right, worked like a charm. Thanks!

                                    2. re: bee54wee

                                      I applaud your guys' dedication to roast a whole case of chilies by hand on top of seeding, peeling and bagging them. For me the roaster worked out pretty well. True that some got mushy, but I just set them aside for pureeing. I weighed them all out before vacuum sealing and ended up with 10-lbs whole peppers and just over 2-lbs (17%) of the mushy/shredded.

                                      1. re: Civil Bear

                                        It's clear there's operator variance. When I buy the chiles in Petaluma, I watch my individual case go into the roaster and I stay there until I tell the staff member when I want it taken out. The roaster will hold two cases worth, but I only do one case at a time . Also, when there's too few chiles in the roaster, they don't tumble and char as evenly.

                                        At some locations the chiles have been roasted in larger batches and then bagged up. I won't buy them that way again. I have to see the quality of the chiles that go in and make sure the roasting is done the way I want it.

                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                          As one who bought 25 lbs of Hatch in New Mexico already roasted and then flew back to Chicago, you are a wise woman.

                                          1. re: wally

                                            Live and learn! Luckily we can share our/my mistakes here and learn together. What's this, our 5th season in the Bay Area talking Hatch chiles?

                                          2. re: Melanie Wong

                                            I found that too. That's why I roast them over a gas grill. A couple cases from nob hill in black bags convinced me. What a mess! For anyone who's new to grilling them...the easiest ones to pick (if not buying a case) are large flat chilies as opposed to curled ones. Have a really hot grill and then grill until totally blackened on one side then flip them over and repeat. I don't bag them but when I take them off lay them in a foil roaster and cover with foil. I leave the stems on and then with a knife or gloved fingers slide the blackened skin off one side holding the stem then turn over and do other side. Then I make a slit at top and (hopefully) pull out stem with seed pod attached. That's the other reason I don't like the tumbler. The seeds are all over the chile as opposed to laying them flat on the grill most often the seeds stay attached to the stem for what's its worth. To me it makes going through a case pretty easy. I have tried several growers and will only get Young Guns. Again the cheapest I found this year is $19.50 case from the Sprouts Farmers Markets chain. I also think its impossible loose in stores to be sure of the heat level. Not enough knowledge of NM chilies here.

                                          3. re: Civil Bear

                                            I got even fewer mushy ones when I did the same thing on Saturday. 9 pounds intact vacuum sealed in the freezer, 1 pound in the fridge to make chile verde on Sunday.

                                            BTW, once the "intact" ones come out of the freezer, they will be completely soft as well. If I want "al dente" peppers (for stuffing, for instance), I buy just enough poblanos to roast and use them the same day. To me, NM chiles are always too soft to mess with stuffing. But great for stews like chile verde.

                                  2. Does anyone know where to buy these in SF?

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: sfchris

                                      Lucky has them in its flyer for this Wednesday,$.99 /lb. Shop early they go fast..

                                      1. re: wolfe

                                        Thank you. Not sure how you figured that out since the website is still showing last weeks specials, but thanks!

                                        1. re: sfchris

                                          My flyer comes in the Tuesday mail.

                                        2. re: wolfe

                                          Thanks for the head's up. I just got about 5 lbs. at the Lucky in Pacifica.

                                          1. re: wolfe

                                            Raleys/Nob Hill has them for 89 cents a pound this week.

                                            1. re: wolfe

                                              I was at Lucky on Fulton in SF yesterday morning. They had Young Guns hot. I saw the box, but the heat level is not labelled on the shelf.

                                              Produce guy was unaware that there were heat differences.
                                              Not sure if they have more in back or if they have mediums back there - can't hurt to ask. I was fine with hot.

                                              1. re: wolfe

                                                They had them by the case tonight at my local Lucky from Young Guns, 19.95/case. All marked hot.

                                                  1. re: Mission

                                                    'Young Guns' is the green chile grower in NM. who has been providing the chile talked about here in the Bay Area. Their website:younggunsproduce.com

                                                    1. re: bee54wee

                                                      While it seems many stores have them this year from Young Guns they are not the only supplier. The ones at Raleys/Nob Hill are from a different farm. All grown in New Mexican soil though as opposed to an Anaheim type chile grown elsewhere.
                                                      The only store I found that had all three heat levels was the Sprouts chain. Although the later it gets the harder to find mild or medium.

                                            2. BTW, I found a post last year for a cream of roasted chile soup, including a version with added corn and shrimp. Outstanding, especially with roasted corn. I've been making this all year with chiles I roasted and froze last summer. Just in case anyone gets tired of chile verde (like that's going to happen).

                                              Picking up our share of two 4-H raised pigs today, and have about a pound and a half of Big Jims from the garden. Chile verde, here we come!

                                              1. S.O. bought some Hatch green chiles at Andronico's on Solano Ave in Berkeley. $1.99 / lb ...... no labeling .... just tasted one and they're mild. Here's a pic of one that I roasted on my gas stove top.

                                                1. We bought about 5# at the Raley's in Benicia yesterday for $0.89/lb (hmmm, or possibly $.99/lb, I can't remember which). They were fresh, displayed in their Hatch NM boxes, and designated as HOT. (Raley's wasn't roasting them). I raced home and roasted one on our gas range. Warning Mr. Shibi to prepare himself for real chile heat... we sampled the chile and -- it was MILD! Hopefully we'll find some hot chile in the remaining 4.999 lbs we purchased!

                                                  I will roast these on the gas grill outside this weekend. Then, I'll clean them by removing stems, skins and seeds, and then I'll freeze them in meal-sized bags. (I lived in NM for a long time and I used to buy my fresh roasted Hatch chile's from the Leyba family in Santa Fe.) I wear gloves when I handle the chile and I try to clean them outdoors, if they are truly hot HOTs.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Shibi

                                                    In my experience the "hot" Hatches are mild by many yardsticks.

                                                  2. $.69/pound yesterday at whole foods in Capitola. Roasted and cleaned half last night. Don't know if it was because I wasn't very diligent de seeding but some were hot, not New Mexico hot but still enough to get your attention.

                                                    Chiliquiles for breakfast as soon as I close the laptop...

                                                    1. I am relocating to the bay area, I am from Las Cruces NM and while I cannot tell you where to purchase Hatch Chiles as of yet, I am on the hunt. Harvest doesn't happen until late September. The first few tons of early ripe chiles happens in late August but those hit the New MExican markets first; the distibutable batches don't hit the regional markets until September. Then they don't make to LA, and Vernon CA until early mid to late September. So I would anticipate any significant arrival to SF Bay in early October.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: chileman

                                                        If you read the whole discussion, you would know that in fact, Hatch chiles usually appear in stores in the Bay Area in late-August/early September.

                                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                          Correcto Mundo Ruth: Waiting for that calendar page to say AUGUST so we all can get into the fresh crop of Chiles. My 2013 frozen batch is almost all gone. CANNOT WAIT!

                                                          1. re: bee54wee

                                                            Heh, just this morning I pulled a bag out of the freezer dated August 16, 2013.

                                                            1. re: Civil Bear

                                                              Thanks to this site, I roasted my first ever batch of hatch chilis last August. I think I bought about 12 pounds and could not possibly imagine that I could eat all of them.

                                                              Well, of course they were astoundingly delicious and were gone from my freezer by November! I'll be getting a case in August. :)

                                                        2. re: chileman

                                                          I bought hatch chiles at the Alemany Farmers market this past weekend! It's incredibly early in the season but there were at least 3 vendors selling them there.

                                                          1. re: scarmoza

                                                            Alemany is a certified farmers market, in fact the first one established in the state. Only produce grown by California farms can be sold at a certified market. So perhaps those were not Hatch chiles from New Mexico.

                                                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                              Can chile grown outside of the Hatch Valley be sold as Hatch chile? Apparently a chile labelled "New Mexico" cannot be from outside NM.

                                                              1. re: Civil Bear

                                                                New Mexico amended its law last year to add more teeth to it.

                                                                "Stores and restaurants selling chile grown elsewhere but carrying misleading product names such as Hatch or Chimayo would have to add an honesty label — 'Not Grown in New Mexico.' "