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What food trucks are to communal dining, Hatch green chile roasts are to communal cooking. Every August, lovers of New Mexico's fragrant and earthy Hatch green chile come to the events hosted by El Rey Farms, Albertsons and Bristol Farms and while they wait in line, they trade recipes, debate storage techniques and share conversion experiences. “They're Hatch chiles, they're amazing!” former Albuquerque resident Bob Klier told a curious on-looker who did indeed end up with their own sack of X-Hots at the Manhattan Beach Bristol Farms event. For Klier, the event was a homecoming, but for Keith Rogers from Riverside, it was the start of a new tradition. “Last year I split a sack with a friend, but it went quick.” Looking at the 28-pound burlap sack of chiles in his shopping cart, he said, “This year, though, this whole thing is for me.”

On Saturday, September 4th, Bristol Farms will be hosting their final chile roasts of the year at the store's Rolling Hills and Westchester locations. All of their locations will also have loose Hatch green chiles sold by the pound to roast at home until September 15th. After that, John Savidan, Director of Produce Marketing at Bristol Farms, lamented, “They're gone, until next year.” Turn the page for a photo gallery of the Manhattan Beach roast. And maybe figure out a time to go pick some up.

Line of the Hatch chile faithful; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Line of the Hatch chile faithful; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chiles by the pound; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chiles by the pound; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chiles by the sack; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chiles by the sack; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Bonefide New Mexico Hatch chiles; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Bonefide New Mexico Hatch chiles; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chiles in the fire; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chiles in the fire; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chiles roasted & ready; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chiles roasted & ready; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Steamy Hatch chiles; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Steamy Hatch chiles; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Roasted Hatch chiles, back in the sack; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Roasted Hatch chiles, back in the sack; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Ready for safe travel home; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Ready for safe travel home; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chile charred & stripped; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chile charred & stripped; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chile chopped; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Hatch chile chopped; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Lunch!; Credit: D. Gonzalez

Lunch!; Credit: D. Gonzalez