BRIGHTON (KDVR) — It’s not only fall that’s in the air these days. So is the irresistible smell of freshly roasted chile peppers.
It is chile roasting season in Colorado, but with all the moisture this year, chile crops were negatively affected.
Colorado is not the largest producer of chile peppers in the world — that would be China. It is also not the largest in the United States — that would be California. Nevertheless, the unmistakable and alluring odor of fresh chile peppers being roasted in the fall is a treat for the olfactory bulb — that would be your nose.
Colorado chile peppers soaked in rain
Lulu’s Farm market in Brighton is owned by Aeron Calkins and his family. They have been roasting peppers here for 15 years.
In addition to growing his own, Calkins buys peppers from other Brighton farms, Pueblo and New Mexico.
But the excess amount of moisture this year in Colorado was not ideal for the capsaicin crop.
“This year has been a little struggle with all the rain and everything. The harvest was a little bit difficult. So yeah, we are spotty on what we have and don’t have depending on the week and we are only about two to three weeks away from being finished with chile roasting,“ Calkins said.
According to Donielle Kitzman from the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, there was only a slight uptick in chile prices because of too much H2O — certainly not enough to keep us humans from consuming the sometimes uncomfortable but delicious fruit.