New Mexico’s Green Ambrosia

You take some tortilla, put some freshly roasted and peeled green chile on it (Hatch, of course), a little sprinkle of salt, and top it with just enough cheese to accent but not to overwhelm. Nomnomnom. THAT is what it’s all about.


New Mexicans know what I’m talkin’ ’bout. It’s that time of year when you scramble to stock up enough doses from your dealer(s) to give you your fixes for the rest of the year. Red. Green. Mild through XXX. The number one reason for stand-alone freezer sales in NM*.

How much do I love my state’s official fruit? Well, a sack of unroasted green (or fresh red) chile (about 2 bushels) yields an average of about 14 pounds of peeled, roasted chile. I, personally, eat about a pound of chile a week, often more** — so, figure in the neighborhood of 52 pounds a year. That means I eat about 3-1/2-to-4 sacks of chile all by my lonesome. And I’m just a moderate user. To be fair, I am a native New Mexican and have been eating the blessed fruit for nearly as long as I’ve been on solid food.

* This is just a guess. But a lot of people do say that they have one or more freezer cabinets devoted solely to storing chile. When the power goes out, the first efforts goes to saving this precious resource before it can thaw.

** A good solid estimate since I’m the one who makes most of the chile dishes and thus know how much gets used and how quickly.

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