So there I am, sitting on a Southwest Airlines flight, headed for El Paso.
As we haven't yet cleared 10,000 feet, I can't use my Kindle, so I'm idly flipping through the pages of the Spirit in flight magazine.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an ad for the beautimous Hatch green chile.
The copy claims that this precious commodity will be for sale in many grocery chains near me!
I unceremoniously tore the ad out of the mag. I had to clutch it to my heart!
I showed the ad to my friends there in the southern part of New Mexico, and they told me that due to NAFTA, the local farmers are getting beat out on selling their beautiful crops.
The New Mexico Department of Agriculture is putting on a marketing drive to try to stir up some sales.
The tagline? "Get Your Fix."
Why yes, I think I will. Thankyouverymuch.
So I was in my local Whole Foods store, perusing the fresh produce, when my peripheral vision locked on the word, "Hatch."
There, in my very store, shiny green peppers stacked high.
I RAN over to the display.
But my brain said, "hoooooold on a minute."
I looked a little closer at the sign.
Can you read the sign in this image?
It says, "Hatch peppers" and just above that it says, "Grown in California."
What the @#*$%@&*^%$!!!!
This is not right.
This is NOT correct.
This is definitely not ok.
So I laid the waxy green vegetable back on the pile and walked away.
This was not the treasure I sought.
Over this Labor Day weekend, I wrote a terse email to the NMDA asking them if the word "Hatch" can be applied to California grown chiles, or if this sign is in error.
I await their reply.
Yesterday, during my lunch hour, I ran to the Nob Hill Foods (also known as Raley's) near where I work to pick up a couple things. I never shop at Nob Hill, but it was the closest grocer near work.
Once again, my "Hatch" radar picked up something at the periphery.
I fear I couldn't get excited.
I slowly walked toward the word "Hatch" and sniffed the air near the display.
And I looked closely at the sign. They spelled "chile" wrong.
But still...could it be? Have I found the good stuff? Did I just accidentally stumble upon The Precious?
Yes. Yes I did.
I filled a produce bag to bursting and made them mine. Those beautiful chiles sat in the backseat of my car all afternoon, and they made the inside of my car smell heavenly.
This year, The Good Man finally gets to know what the smell of roasting green chile (and the smell of Autumn) is truly about, because it will permeate the corners our home.