Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tasty Tour: Hatch Chili Festival

I'm finally back in the Land of Lincoln! When we crossed over into Illinois, I got a bit misty when I first saw the cornfields because I knew we were home. That only lasted as long as it took me to realize I'd only be seeing cornfields for the next six hours.

Anyhow, along the way, Katie and I saw some cool things and ate some tasty meals. First, we'll start with the Hatch Chili Festival. Hatch, New Mexico bills itself as the chili capitol of the world and has a reputation for it tasty yields.

We stopped by chance. We had been driving for a few hours and were ready for a break when we saw the carnival lights. We paid $5 to park and wandered around the joint. There were all kind of decorations made with chilies and we bought a heart-shaped red chili wreath for our mom. There were also all kinds of chili-based food -- roasted chilies, roasted chili salsa, chili powders, roasted corn with chili butter ....

There was also a row of the standard fair stuff such as funnel cakes and cheap engraved jewelry. We didn't hit up the rides because they looked a little suspect, but we did partake in the food. One of the food stands was fire-roasting green chilies. They put a batch of several hundred into a drum like you would see at a bingo game. They rotated it by hand over an open flame. I wanted to try one and they looked around for one from the last batch. I believe they were selling a gallon-sized zip-top bag of them for $1, so they gave me one to try free of charge. It was so tasty! Like a green pepper with lots of heat and smoke.

I don't know if I'll ever be in the area again, but I'm so glad we stopped.

16 comments:

Lydia said...

I've just written a post (for next week) about the Hatch festival -- and how I didn't get there! I'm so glad you did, and that you shared your impressions of it. Maybe next year....

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Glad you're back!
Ooooh! It's roasted chili season again, isn't it?

Retno Prihadana said...

Roasted corn with chilli butter sounds really tasty.I had never tried only roasted chilli.

savvy savorer said...

You are missed!

savvy savorer said...

Interesting trip!

David Hall said...

That chilli festival sounds class. Chllies which have been blackened taste amazing, I'm jealous!

Cheers
David

Asha said...

Chili festival! I am drooling now! ;D

bhags said...

Chilli festival....must have been interesting....I am also getting jealous :)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Very cool - a chilli festival! Hope your Mum likes the heart wreath. Just catching up on everythin Kelly - you've written loads while we've been away. Loved your meme answers.

Dr ve Thru said...

That roasted chilli looks hot/spicy!

I do love the way the whole bunch of chillies are created. Great photo!

Cynthia said...

Glad to have you back hon.

Meg Wolff said...

Hi Kelly,
I guessed that was your sister. Sisters rock. Glad you had a good trip back to "the land of Lincoln".

tigerfish said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip to me.
Time to hatch a chili now :p

Andaliman said...

aww roasted chili.. hmmm :)

Big Boys Oven said...

You are back......great..... my goodness, the chilli festival, how fantastic!

Nora B. said...

My kind of festival! I'm the reigning Chilli eating queen in Sydney ;-)