In a land where the official question is “red or green?,” it’s no surprise that New Mexicans take our chile seriously. All across the state, annual chile-focused events and festivals celebrate our state’s favorite (and most famous) crop. From harvest festivals to chile-smothered cheeseburger smackdowns, these mouth-watering events will satisfy your chile cravings all year long.
What’s the proper way to eat a cheeseburger? Ask any local and they’ll tell you it’s gotta be covered in New Mexico grown, fire-roasted green chile, of course!
After polling New Mexicans for their favorite places to sink their teeth into these culinary treasures, we’ve put together an interactive map of where to find some of the tastiest green chile cheeseburgers around. From trendy hotspots to hole-in-the-wall hideaways, check out top places where the locals like to indulge.
Red or green — chiles are essential to New Mexican cuisine and, while you can buy them prepped and ready to go, any real chef (or local New Mexican) will tell you chiles taste best when bought in season and roasted fresh.
Take your cooking to the next level and become a chile expert with these tips on how to prep, roast, and store your fresh chiles.
Green chile can spice up just about any dish, but in New Mexico our favorite recipes don’t just feature green chile—we make it the star! Check out these classic green chile recipes from some of New Mexico’s favorite chefs and restaurants.
Chiles have been growing in New Mexico for at least 400 years. They were first introduced in 1598 when the conquistador Don Juan Onate brought crops from Mexico, including chiles, that had never been grown in the region before. Over the course of the century, ancestral Puebloans adopted these new crops and made them an essential part of their diets.
Today, chile continues to be a popular and essential crop across New Mexico—and we grow a lot of it. In 2018, NMDA estimated New Mexico’s chile production at $53.8 million with a reported 8,400 acres of chile planted and 7,900 harvested.
While New Mexico’s high altitude, desert climate, and rocky soil make it a unique growing region, our chiles rely on this rugged environment for their distinct, beloved flavors. Chile growers and connoisseurs credit soil for the crop’s range of unique flavors and are even able to taste a difference in the chiles depending on where in the state they’re grown. In fact, chile researchers say the phenomenon of “terroir,” the characteristic taste and flavor of a crop imparted by the environment in which it’s produced, may apply to chlie just as it does to grapes. So if you think all New Mexico green chile tastes the same, you might just want to think again.