ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Most New Mexicans would agree the best chile comes from New Mexico. Now, there is a competition to decide who in New Mexico grows the best chile.
In every corner of the state, New Mexicans are proud of their chile.
“It is in our blood, our culture, our DNA and frankly, we set the standard when it comes to chile,” Joe Wellborn with the New Mexico Chile Association said.
While Hatch may be the chile capital of New Mexico, a new competition aims to crown the true king of the red and green.
“I would say if you have not tried our chile, you have missed out,” Sally Baker said.
Baker of Genesis Gardens Homestead in Tucumcari is one grower competing in the Great New Mexico Chile Taste-Off on September 21 in Socorro.
“I want to tickle people’s taste buds,” Baker said. She is among more than a dozen others showcasing their chile.
“I am just excited to show others across the state what we can do here in our little ole bitty town,” Baker said.
The event will include food, drinks and red and green fireworks, along with a jury and peoples’ choice awards for the best chile. Wellborn said any commercial grower in the state can sign up.
“There are different combinations of soil and moisture, and weather and altitude that impart different flavors and different qualities from chiles all over, and we want people to try that variety,” Wellborn said.
While competition is heating up among growers, the primary goal is to raise awareness of the entire chile industry in our state, from Farmington to Las Cruces.
“There is participation and competition between New Mexico farmers, but our real hope is to showcase all of New Mexico and the different regions and types of chile,” Glen Duggins of Cinco Estrella Farm said. “We prefer our type, but let the people choose.”
Wellborn said the purpose of the event is to promote the New Mexico Certified Chile Program. It is the only program that verifies that the chile you are getting is grown here.