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Green chile cookout enjoys exceptional sales

Cash Wise employees Blair Berg and Roy Rayback scoop up a freshly-roasted batch of Hatch green chile peppers in Dickinson on Saturday. (Iain Woessner / The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson got a taste of the Southwest at their local Cash Wise store the past couple of weekends. They apparently found the taste to their liking with sales of Hatch Green Chile exceeding initial expectations and ensuring this year's "Hatchapalooza" won't be the last.

"It's been over 6,000 pounds in the two weeks," Cash Wise Store Director Matt Sellers said of the event, noting he had initially only ordered 1,000 pounds of the chiles. They sold 1,500 pounds on the first day alone.

"Every year when Hatch Green chiles (are harvested) is right around the same time, so what we'll do is we'll do it every year," Sellers said. "Next year, I'll just make it bigger. Try to make it 15,000 pounds next year."

Hatch chile are native to Hatch, New Mexico, and are enjoyed in a wide range of dishes. Green chile cooking events are common in the Southwest, but this marks a first for Dickinson. The event saw Sellers grilling up bratwurst and hot dogs while members of his team roasted the chiles themselves, upending pounds of them into a large iron drum which is rotated, over time blackening the chiles. They would then be bundled up and be ready to take home, peeled, and frozen for storage or prepared.