Visit the chile capital of the West—and the world
The tiny town of Hatch, New Mexico (pop. 1,600), has a retro burger joint, a shoebox-size bar owned by a Texas country singer, a historic B&B, and chiles. Lots and lots of chiles. Red, green, yellow, they dangle from strings (called ristras), dry on tin roofs, and in September, the air grows thick with their smoky scent as thousands of heat-seekers hit the Hatch Chile Festival, two days of chile-roasting, chile-eating contests, and of course the crowning of the Chile Queen. Can't make it to New Mexico? That's OK, there are plenty of ways to savor the fiery fruit—yes, it's a fruit—right at home.