Every fall I look forward to buying a bushel of fresh roasted chiles; an annual tradition I learned from ryan’s family.

Mexican food is full of tradition; there are endless interpretations but the flavors + ingredients stem from the same general place. When I started dating ryan in my late teens; my world was opened up to traditional + authentic mexican food in a whole new way. Family dinners were a labor of love. We ate green chile that simmered for hours, chicken enchiladas with homemade sauce, pozole and menudo that took hours to prepare. The dishes used so many amazing ingredients + were from family recipes, passed down through generations.

It was inspiring + exciting to taste these dishes, even though I had eaten many of them before. One of the standout ingredients from the cuisine were hatch + pueblo chiles. They have a subtle sweet, spicy, crisp + smokey taste. In addition, their spiciness can vary from mild to an intense burn, depending on the variety.

Every year, ryan’s family buys fresh chiles from vendors in town, who roast them in big cylindrical cage drums over propane fueled flames. Ultimately, the chiles become blistered on each side, creating the most intoxicating scent in the air. For years I have joined in buying fresh roasted chiles which we all bring home, freeze + use throughout the months ahead. I too, now make green chile + many of the family recipes that were taught to me through the years.

I love that this family tradition is now something I am part of + can share with my side of the family. This year, my dad joined me for his first time, buying fresh hatch chiles, roasted right there on the spot. Fresh roasted chiles have the most intense flavor; not watered down or diluted like frozen varieties in the grocery stores. Truly, there is nothing like it + one of the many reasons I look forward to fall each year.

Written by Jaime
South on Broadway is a Denver based food + lifestyle blog for lovers of food, fashion and design. a destination for daily inspiration

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