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The New Mexico chile pepper is the state vegetable of the U.S. State of New Mexico. New Mexico chile (Capsicum annuum L. New Mexico group) is a plant belonging to the family capsicum anuum (pepper family). It is related to other long capsicum anuum peppers, such as the jalapeño. While technically a fruit, the New Mexico chile is commonly considered a vegetable, because of its context in cooking. This pepper is a staple of New Mexican cuisine.
This pepper comes in two varieties, green and red. The green plant in the unripened fresh pepper, while the red is the ripened dried plant. New Mexico green chile is usually served diced, and New Mexico red chile is served a rehydrated sauce.
Although the New Mexico chile was cultivated in New Mexico by the Spanish and Native American Pueblos since the early 1600s. Most of the Spanish towns and Native American Pueblos have their own distinct variety of the pepper, Mexican and American towns also continued to develop their own New Mexico chile peppers, and in 1894 the modern New Mexico chile was developed from 14 lineages of these unique peppers, combined with poblano and jalapeño, by Dr. Fabian Garcia at New Mexico State University. Since then New Mexico's chile pepper has been highly regarded for its unique taste, especially those from the town of Hatch, in the Mesilla Valley, and throughout the Rio Grande valley. There are also unique land-race peppers grown by numerous towns and Pueblos.