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Time to start roasting

Briana DeWees-Torrez gushes over the first seasonal crop of green chile outside her family’s Chile Traditions in Northeast Albuquerque on Thursday afternoon. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Get it while it’s mild, medium or hot.

Green chile season is here again, and Briana DeWees-Torrez of Chile Traditions said the store’s first day of roasting proves Albuquerque got the message. Within several hours, more than 1,000 pounds was sold.

“It’s been slammed; we’re almost sold out of what they just brought us,” she said. “Everybody is so excited. … As soon as we put this up, we started getting calls: ‘Do you have green chile? Do you have green chile?’ ”

James Piar dumps fresh roasted green chile at Chile Traditions stand in northeast Albuquerque on Thursday afternoon. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

At least 70 people showed up to get their fix Thursday, some of them already waiting when the stand opened at 8:30 a.m. DeWees-Torrez said that by late afternoon, the business had sold more than half of the 50 sacks that were delivered from Soto Farms in Hatch. DeWees-Torrez smiled as she leaned against a counter that held baskets full of green chile, some spilled onto the wood below.

“Don’t worry,” she said, “we’ll have enough to last us.”

The stand and adjacent store are at Wyoming and Montgomery NE, where the hot afternoon air was filled with the smell and crackle of green chile as a man roasted a bushel of chile for Joshua Sanchez, who came as soon as he heard the good news.

“I thought I might as well get a head start,” he said.

Raised in the South Valley, Sanchez said, he has been eating green chile his entire life. His dad first took him to the Chile Traditions stand a decade ago, and he has been coming back ever since.

“This has always been his spot so, you know, follow the family tradition,” he said. On Thursday, Sanchez took his son Anthony, who is expecting dad’s green chile queso for his coming second birthday.

Anthony Sanchez, 2, is fascinated by the chile roaster at Chile Traditions on Thursday afternoon. His father, Joshua Sanchez, took him along to the Northeast Albuquerque stand to pick up green chile from the first batch of the season. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal

Sanchez’s favorite part about this time of year? The smell, of course.

“The smell this time of the year is definitely one of a kind; we have people wanting candles of it,” DeWees-Torrez said. She only wishes she knew how to re-create the scent.

With the recent green chile trash talk between New Mexico and Colorado, DeWees-Torrez wanted it to be known that Chile Traditions sends at least four orders to Colorado a week. She thinks the competition is laughable.

“It’s funny. They should stick to growing what they grow, and we should stick to the chile capital of the world here,” DeWees-Torrez said.

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