The aroma of smoky Hatch chiles on the grill is always a harbinger of late summer. I was first introduced to this seasonal ritual by my future father-in-law more than 25 years ago. His family roots went back 200 years to the small historic town of Mesilla in southern New Mexico, about 45 minutes from Hatch. Much like the importance of terroir with grapes for wine, the long, hot sunny days, cool nights and irrigation by the Rio Grande, create a depth of flavor unfound in other chiles. They're smoky with sweet notes and in a variety of heat levels.
I'm proud to say I introduced foodie friends and some chefs to Hatch chile years before they were widely available. Best to roast, pack and freeze to enjoy year round for a taste of New Mexico.