I’m almost 32 now, so I’ve seen a decent amount of chile seasons come and go to Albuquerque. In my time, I’ve had a lot of dishes with green and red chile. I’ve probably sampled almost every variety of chile in New Mexico by now. I guess I could call myself an expert to some degree.
One thing on everyone’s mind when August starts rolling around in Albuquerque is, “where should I get my roasted chile?”
In my experience, the best overall place to get roasted chile is definitely Farmers Chile Market. They usually have lots of varieties, even as hot as Lumbre. Lumbre is a chile for the real spice lords, that stuff is HOT. Not only that, but the prices are also some of the cheapest among chile specialists. This goes for all their products, like ristras and chile powders. I haven’t been disappointed by the flavor or found good chile cheaper.
If you want the cheapest green chile possible, the best choice might be a grocery chain, but believe me when I say you get what you pay for. I made the mistake one year of getting a box of chile, and I never want to go back. My chile that year was so boring that I had to replace it. There was some spice, but Hatch chile has a lot more flavor than just heat. Grocery store chile really lacks that flavor.
If you make the same mistake as I did, remember to get more chile soon, as the season typically ends around October.