¡Ask a Comida Critic! How Can I Get Hatch Chiles in OC?

Got this one from an amiga on Facebook:

Where can I get Hatch chiles in Orange County? Not the canned stuff, but fresh from this year's harvest?

The best option is to make the 12-hour trek to Hatch this weekend, when the Hatch Chile Festival will bring thousands to the tiny town and the scent of freshly picked chile pods roasting in tumblers will fill the air with its piquant, smoky glory. I'm going there to report for my Mexican food history book on New Mexican cuisine, but I know most of you cannae.

So, options…

This Sunday is your best bet at Bristol Farms in Newport Beach, where they will sell and roast the chiles all day, just like they did last year. And after that…you're out of luck if you want the whole Hatch experience. Albertson's in La Habra already did their Hatch chile roast, and they have no other OC locations scheduled to do the same. El Rey Farms will drop some off for the next couple of weekends in La Puente, but La Puente ain't OC.

There is one other option: Jon's Market. The Southern California supermarket chain has two OC locations, and they are stocking Hatch chiles (although not roasting them). A friend of mine from El Paso who worships the green has reported they are beautiful and ripe for the picking. To paraphrase William Mulholland, “There they are–take them!”

And local farmer's market: pick up your game!

Jon's Market, 11072 Magnolia St., Garden Grove, (714) 530-4700; also at
15300 Goldenwest St. Westminister, (714) 898-4371.

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