ON GREEN CHILE SEASON
We found Henry Trujillo at his usual spot this time of the year. Trujillo was at the intersection of Alameda and Yates, focused on his business “Trujillo Chile”, that will be operating until the end of October. “We opened up at the beginning of August to sell chilies. In the next month, we will receive another three harvests of chili, that come directly from the Gillis Farms, in New Mexico,” said this native of the San Luis Valley, who lives in Denver.
Trujillo, who worked for the Federal government for the past 30 years, knows well and loves the products he sells. “Hatch chilies are well known for their earthy and meaty flavor that develops during the hot days and the cool nights if the Hatch valley. Also, these chilies are special because they grow in a volcanic area,” explained Trujillo. He continued, “we protect the chilies in a special way. We apply a procedure that helps them retain their juices and remain hydrated. We are the only ones who do it.”
Trujillo explain that they keep moisture in the chilies, from the time they receive them from their vendors, to the time they are delivered to the consumer. “I learned this technique from my wife. She is a native of Balleza, Chihuahua. There, at the turn of the century they didn’t have refrigeration and they found a way to keep the chilies they harvest for the longest time possible. We learn that technique and brought it to Denver,” he explains. Trujillo believes a hydrated chili resists the roasting in better ways.
Trujillo has eaten dishes with chile verde all his life. “My ancestors, with the Trujillo last name, have been in Colorado since 1621. They arrived in the San Luis Valley and settled there. I suppose that for centuries they have passed on recipes that use green chili,” he told us. The favorite recipe for this chili expert is the “Chile verde con Puerco.” He doesn’t cook that dish, but he insisted that his wife Hilda prepares that recipe very well.
With Colorado Style
The dish Trujillo refers to demands some knwoldge to be able to successfully cook it. According to a récipe developed by Anita Edge, “Chile Verde con Puerco” has a cooking time of 4 hours. Those who attempt to prepare it must be able to perform several tasks at the same time. On one put you must cook the pork, and at the same time, on a different pot you must stir fry some vegetables together with hot and mild chile verde. You must also puree some of the chilies to ad later. All this mix brings a special flavor that is used to smother burritos, huevos rancheros or just as a soup.