Visitors find it peculiar that New Mexicans add chile to virtually every meal, but it complements both sweet and savory dishes, adding a unique flavor, and spice, to most of our food. We do have regional staples that are not as reliant on our favorite ingredient, particularly in the realm of baked goods and desserts, but chile is at the core of New Mexico cuisine. It is that piquant nuance that distinguishes New Mexican food our neighbors.
Though there are similarities based on regional influence, New Mexico gets its penchant for potent peppers from the pueblos. The native inhabitants of this region have utilized peppers for centuries to infuse their recipes with the characteristic New Mexico heat. Spicy is how we roll. If you live here, you acclimate or become accustomed to modifying your order. Considering the high vitamin C content of chile, and New Mexico's wild temperature variations, it is a good vegetable to include in your daily diet.
Though the local chile is related to the Anaheim pepper, the heirloom varieties in New Mexico, and those developed by the Chile Pepper Institute in Las Cruces, are far hotter than a typical Anaheim peppers. Yes, they do sell and ship seed. The soil and climate impact the potency of local peppers. The plants appreciate the arid environment, intense heat and alkaline soil.
New Mexico Nomad