New Mexico: The Spiciest State in America?

The chile is the official vegetable of the state of New Mexico. Here are some fun facts about why New Mexico may be the “spiciest” state in the U.S.

  • The people of New Mexico eat more chilies per capita than in any other state in the U.S.
  • Over 80,000 tons of chilies are grown in New Mexico
  • The most popular question to ask in New Mexico is Red or Green?
  • Hatch Valley has coined the chili capital of America where special Hatch chilies are farmed
  • A ristra is a collection of dried pepper pods that are used as a popular decorative item in the homes of New Mexico.
  • Red and green chilies have been depicted by many artists in paintings and other artwork of New Mexico
  • It is a state law in New Mexico that chilies must be grown in New Mexico to be named or labeled New Mexico chilies
  • The Hatch Chiles, the Anaheim Pepper, Rio Grande Chiles, and the Pueblo Chiles are all chilies that have been cultivated by the people of New Mexico.
  • Fabian Garcia was the horticulturalist who first pioneered the New Mexico Chile No. 9 back in 1913
  • Paul Bosland founded the Chili Pepper Institute at the University of New Mexico to study chilies from New Mexico and also those grown throughout the world.

For 45 years the Hatch Chile Festival held in early September has attracted thousands of locals and tourists to try the best chilies New Mexico has to offer.

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