Taste The Difference: The Food of New Mexico

March 17, 2015 | By: Monica Christofferson

For a true New Mexico experience, you must get your taste buds involved early and often. The blend of distinct flavors from Spanish and Native American cultures has been perfected over the course of 400 years and will stay with you long after you’ve returned home.

What you’ll taste here is not your average borderland Mexican fare. It’s a unique, specialized cuisine all its own. And at the center of nearly everything is the renowned New Mexican chile. (Note the correct local spelling — “chilli” is the meaty, spicy stew made popular by our Texas neighbors.)

The smoke-kissed flavor of freshly roasted green chiles and the earthy fruitiness of red chile sauce are essential to our favorite dishes, like breakfast burritos, stacked enchiladas and stuffed sopaipillas.

New Mexico was the first state in America to have an official question — “Red or green?” Restaurant-goers throughout the state may field this question at every meal of the day with both varieties of our chile being used in everything from enchiladas to ice cream. You can’t go wrong with either answer, but if you’re feeling particularly adventurous or just can’t decide, ask for your chile “Christmas style” and you’ll get both red and green.

Whether you’re looking for a James Beard Award-winning dining experience or an authentic dive off the beaten path, you’ll find it in the Land of Enchantment.

Click here to learn more about New Mexico’s culinary tradition, including links to the New Mexico True Breakfast Burrito Byway and The Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.

Also, here are 8 quintessential New Mexican foods every visitor to the state should try. One taste and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them!

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