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Chile Frijoles Fest ~ 60,000 Pounds of Mira Sol Chile Roasted and Savored

September 26, 2010

I had lunch today at Pueblo’s celebration of the harvest of the Mira Sol Chile. Celebration is an inadequate word. Bacchanal would be closer to the truth. For 2 1/2 days, sunburnt chile aficionados fed their addictions with freshly roasted and peeled chiles served up with catfish, in freshly made quesadillas, the infamous “Chile Wrappers” or slathered on the perfectly named Sloppers.

The artisans’ alleys went on for blocks in a crowded modern day bazaar. With most of the downtown streets in Pueblo closed to traffic, parking space became open air markets with 4 or five commerical roasters behind each.

Pallets of sacks stuffed with the Mira Sol (or Pueblo) chiles wait for their turn to be opened and dumper with 3 others into the red-hot roasters. The very civilized Mojito, Margarita and Jack Daniels booths  helped the people waiting patiently in line for their custom roasted peppers to stay cool.

The trapped air in the narrow streets was hot and smokey with roasting chile, smoked turkey legs, kettle corn and funnel cakes.  mendicants loudly and aggressively hawked politicians and cell phone service. On stage in the four beer gardens scattered down side streets, 40 bands battled it out, one after another. Some fans of one of the popular local group, lined up for $4 shots of tequila and green chile burgers, sang loudly along to a Tejano band.

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