Temecula Fest: Green Chile Time

Need the heat, and a little hoedown, too? The wine country town has you covered.

A BITE WITH BURN: August may be dominated by back-to-school-ing, but a small contingent of cuisinaires are all about a single fruit with a singular hue coming out of a singular location: Hatch, New Mexico. We speak of green chile, the pow-packing pepper that is as much a part of daily cooking in the Land of Enchantment as salt and pepper. But the pepper's powerful reputation has traveled well beyond New Mexico's borders, which has led to great demand for the end-of-summer spicy icon. Trucks head west, to California, brimming with the good stuff, and a few special roasting days, and the occasional party, greet and/or celebrate the shipments. One such fiesta shall bring the fiery fun to Town Square Park in Temecula on Saturday, Aug. 29 and Sunday, Aug. 30. It's the Hatch Green Chile Festival, and while the procuring of peppers is at the hot heart of the hoedown, there shall be other lively happenings. Like... 

LIVE MARIACHI TUNES... and Ballet Folklorico and kid-focused fun times and a Mr. and Mrs. Chile Pepper contest. As far as the food end of the day goes? Wait for it: 10,000 pounds of Hatch chile'll pull into the park and the roasting is complimentary. Also complimentary? The smell. Oh, you know that smell, the one that no perfume or air-freshener could reproduce. It is fall on the air, deep and green and tinged with smoke, and it is a scene every New Mexican misses if they're not on their home turf in August. A ten-pound bag of the good stuff is twenty five bucks, and since people have already put some pre-orders in, you'll want to arrive early to make sure you get your goodies. If you're planning on doing any chile-wine dishes this autumn or winter, well, you'll be in the right spot. Pick up your peppers, get them roasted (mmm), and then make for your favorite winery for a bottle of something deep and red and tinged with fruitiness, an ideal match for your deep and green and tinged with smoke pepper haul.

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