Romeros Chile Roasting A Fall Tradition

by Staff Reporter / Oct 05, 2017 / comments
Sign on top of building at Romeros announcing “Roasting Green Chile.” Photo by Robert Naranjo for the

Romeros Chile Roasting A Fall Tradition


Hernandez - The chile roasting barrels spin all day long at Romeros in Hernandez creating the aroma that New Mexicans adore. Romeros have customers that return year after year plus new ones who have heard of the quality of the chile and the roasting at Romeros. An employee who does the chile roasting told the Valley Daily Post that when he shows up to work at 15 minutes before 8 a.m., there are five or six cars waiting in the parking lot to buy their sack of chile and have it roasted.


An employee spins the barrel to give chile a uniform roasting. Photo by Robert Naranjo for the

Before chile is roasted here, it is washed before placed in the roasting barrels. In Española, businesses generally do not rinse the chile as it is usually done in the parking lot of stores with no water available to wash the chile before roasting.

Asked why the chile is washed at Romeros before roasting, a family owner said that the chile is handled during harvesting but more importantly, to rinse off dirt that is picked up during harvesting.

Front view of spinning chile roasting barrel.Photo by Robert Naranjo for the

Roasting employees said they have been roasting for two months and have about a month left in the roasting season. They also told the Valley Daily Post that they have been busy non-stop since the start of the chile roasting season.

Romeros has an exclusive chile farmer who grows only for Romeros. That farmer is based in Lemitar--near Socorro. A tag in a chile sack read, “Reza Produce, Big Jims, New Mexico Grown, 35#.”

Freshly washed chile ready for the roaster.  Photo by Robert Naranjo for the

On Saturday, there was a downpour in the early morning and the light went out for a few minutes, but no one was deterred as there was a line of people waiting to have their sacks of chile roasted.

Lisa Lopez, of the Española Valley, told the Valley Daily Post, They are the best roasters in town.”

Orlando Martinez of La Puebla, added “The chile is great and the people that roast are class-A.” When asked if he comes every year, Martinez said,”Yes, every year I do about five sacks.” When told Romero's is the only chile roasting business that rinses the chile before roasting, Martinez commented, “It makes a big difference.” Lopez concurred, “Absolutely, and it makes a big difference in the roasting.”

 Photo by Robert Naranjo for the

Gerri P. who lives nearby said about Romeros, “It’s convenient, it’s close and they do a very good job, it’s clean and I get what I ask for. If I ask for medium, I get medium. you know? I like to enjoy the chile, not have it be so hot that I can’t enjoy it. I get what I ask for here.”

A customer does not need to buy a sack of chile at Romeros. In the store, individual quart size bags of roasted chile are sold at a fair price. They also have a large selection of red powdered chile.

Jacob Romero, a family owner, told the Valley Daily Post, “We appreciate and thank all our loyal customers who return every year to buy their sacks of roasted chile. We also invite people who have not tried our roasted chile to stop by. I’m sure they won’t be disappointed. We try very hard to produce a quality product.”

Photo by Robert Naranjo for the