Chile Pepper Facts

Chileology 101:

  • Sources of New Mexico Chile:

If you live outside of New Mexico and want to buy New Mexico chile – fresh, dried, or powder – be sure to buy from a New Mexico source. It has been found that some vendors sell "New Mexico chile products", but the chile comes from outside of New Mexico. New Mexico has a state law that makes it illegal to knowingly sell chile or chile products labeled "New Mexico grown" if the chile wasn't grown in New Mexico.

  • Chile Powder:

Chile Powder is just that – powder ground from dried chile (capsicum) peppers. It's not the same as chili powder, which I'll talk about in a minute. When you look at the ingredients of chile powder, you should see ONLY "chile peppers", "dry red chile peppers", or "dried cayenne peppers" – something like that. Very seldom will you see a second ingredient unless it's another chile pepper. Ancho (dried red poblano), serrano, habanero, paprika, cayenne, mulato (dried brown poblano) and New Mexico red and green chile are all chiles that can be found in powder form.

  • Color of Chile: 

The different colors of chile powders could be due to the type of chile or the amount of seeds that are included when grinding the chile. The more seeds that are added to the grinding process, the lighter the color of the powder.

  • Chili Powder:

Chili Powder is a spice blend usually made from chile pepper, garlic and Chili Powder - A blend of chile powder, herbs and spicesonion powder, salt and other herbs and spices. Chili powder is used in Texas chili and a variety of chili con carne dishes. At times, chili powder can be used as a substitute for chile powder, but not always. Because it is a spice mix, each brand of chili powder has its own flavor profile and all of them are quite different from a chile powder.

  • Heat levels: 

  The heat from a chile pepper is concentrated in the interior veins or ribs near the seed heart, not in the seeds as is commonly believed (the seeds taste extra hot because they are in close contact with the hot veins)

  • Too much heat? 

Do not drink water-capsaicin which is an oil, will not mix with water but instead, will distribute to more parts of the mouth.

  • Capsaicin has been associated with many cures that include lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol and warding off strokes and heart attacks speeding up metabolism, treating colds and fevers, preventing cancer and pain control.
  • Low in calories, chile peppers contain more vitamin A than carrots (especially red chiles). 
  • The official state vegetables of New Mexico are the Chile and Frijoles (pinto beans). 

  • Fun Chile Facts
  • Chilies help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism.
  • Chilies make it easier to stick to a healthy diet because the food has more flavor.
  • Chilies can have an aphrodisiac-like effect on people.
  • Ounce for ounce, green chile has more vitamin C than citrus fruits.
  • One teaspoon of hot sauce may provide 100% RDA for Vitamin A.
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