Great New Mexico Chile Taste-off competition announced

New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday correctly touted New Mexico chile as the best in the world, whether it is from Chimayó to Deming, Lemitar to Hatch. The New Mexico Chile Association wants to let the public decide who grows the best New Mexico chile. Saturday, the association announced plans for “The Great New Mexico Chile Taste-Off,” to be held October 5, during the heart of this fall’s chile season.

All New Mexico growers whose chile is available for public purchase are invited to participate in the competition.

While Hatch is one of the most recognized chile-growing regions in the state, not everyone is aware that many varieties of the world-famous peppers are grown all around the state.

“There are countless flavors and nuances to New Mexico chile that represent the different growing regions,” said Gene Baca, President of the New Mexico Chile Association, “This competition will give producers the chance to put their chiles in the spotlight and face off with other growers.”

Sonja Schroeder, Executive Director for the Association explained, “We’re inviting New Mexico commercial growers, whether they grow one acre or 500, to participate in the competition because we want to give the public the opportunity to taste a variety of chiles in one place and purchase their favorites.”

Lemitar chile grower Glen Duggins, a member of the board of directors for the Association, threw down the gauntlet for fellow New Mexico growers.

“Everyone knows New Mexico produces the best chile in the world. If you’re a grower, now’s the time to put your chile where your mouth is and see whose is the best of the best.”

Chile growers across the state are already catching word of the competition. Deming grower, Zach Penn, responded to the challenge, stating, “New Mexico has the best chile, and I’m ready to put mine up against any chile in the state. Bring it on!” 

Not to be outdone, Shayne Franzoy, a grower from Hatch, chimed in, “Everyone knows the best chile is grown in Hatch, no contest. Better than Lemitar. Better than Chimayó. Better than chile grown anywhere.”

Growers Mario and Linda Rosales, from Lemitar, joined the fray “For 50 years the Rosales family has cared for and grown some of the best chile in the region. We stand ready to compete across the state of New Mexico.”

All chile growers in New Mexico are invited to register online at the Association’s website:

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