Ark of Taste
New Mexican Native Chile Pepper
The New Mexican Native Chile, which is sometimes called the Chimayo, Dixon, or Velarde, is grown in the northern part of New Mexico where for centuries it has been part of the local diet. The Chile owes its variety of names to the numerous amounts of towns where it was grown. Today, Hispanic farmers who rely upon traditional methods to produce these quality fruits grow the chilies on small plots of land.
The chile is typically about six inches long with crinkly skin. The flavor and heat varies depending upon where and how it was grown. The chile is eaten fresh, either red or green, and also dried whole or ground into a coarse powder that forms the basis for regional sauces and other dishes.
Because of the small volume of production, the great majority of the New Mexican Native Chiles and powder are consumed locally.