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From the Community Press

New Mexico Chile Weeks

It’s that season. New Mexico is known for our famous Hatch chile peppers. Red, green or Christmas? And during this time of year, the smell of chile peppers roasting across town cannot be missed. It’s a tradition that everyone loves whether you grew up in Albuquerque or moved here for retirement. As we move into September and October, remember to spice up your days with some of those wonderful peppers!

Hatch chile peppers are unique to New Mexico. Grown in the Hatch region, New Mexico, the flavor is different than what you might find in a typical “chili verde” or other types of salsas across the rest of the nation. These special New Mexican chile peppers come in various levels of spiciness. If you prefer mild, medium or even extra hot, you’ll be able to find just the right level of heat to incorporate into your breakfast burritos.

Flavor

Do you enjoy cooking? Even if it’s just breakfast, roasted green Hatch chile can add incredible flavor to scrambled eggs or huevos rancheros. Or you can try a healthy and delicious breakfast hash made with fresh vegetables, eggs and of course, green chile. You might even add some roasted chiles to your burgers and apple pie! Find a traditional New Mexican cookbook for some ideas. If you have a traditional recipe that has been in your family for generations, invite some of the neighbors in your 55 plus community for some tasty enchiladas or green chile stew! A great way to make friends quickly. You can easily find freshly roasted green chile at your closest market or you can even buy it frozen or already blended into delicious salsas. Buying freshly roasted chile can be a fun seasonal activity. Seniors often don’t need large quantities of peppers, but they’re easy to freeze. You can peel the freshly roasted chiles and store a few in the fridge for immediate use, while freezing the rest for months of chile flavor. Just remember to wear gloves while handling these spicy chile peppers! Living in a retirement community makes sharing easy, too. A box of freshly roasted green chile can be divided up among neighbors and enjoyed by all!

Decorations. Have you seen bundles of dried red chile peppers decorating a home or an Albuquerque restaurant wall? For generations, the traditional New Mexican food staple has been the center of any family kitchen. For a touch of southwestern flare, you can use New Mexico chile peppers to brighten up your kitchen or dining room!

Traditions. Perhaps the most well known and loved time of year in Albuquerque is the famous hot air balloon fiesta. Every year, people from all over the world gather to enjoy the stunning desert and mountainous landscape from the air. Traditional balloons and special shape balloons fill the autumn blue skies. On these cool fall mornings, nothing is more satisfying than a New Mexico chile breakfast burrito with a hot cup of coffee as you watch the balloons float by! And if you are fortunate enough to live in a retirement community, you may be in for some fun outings with other seniors to enjoy this special time of year in Albuquerque!

If you have a family member, friend or neighbor in an assisted living or nursing home, you can help them enjoy the season. Make a fresh batch of salsa made with roasted chile peppers and some warm tortillas for them to enjoy!

Embrace the season and taste the flavor of New Mexico. As these hot summer months change into cooler fall days, you’ll have a whole new season to enjoy with a little bit of spice! From food to decorations, New Mexico chile peppers will bring comfort to you on the chilliest fall morning or hottest summer day. It’s a tradition!

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