New Mexico v Colorado: Who does chile better?

Illustration: Carter Klassen · The Sentry

Illustration: Carter Klassen · The Sentry

Hatch is the golden standard

Opinion by Isaiah Mancha

Pick any restaurant, a diner even. Look at the menu. See that? If Colorado Green chile is supposedly better than New Mexico chile, why is that on the menu, it says Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger and Hatch Green Chile Enchiladas instead of Colorado Green Chile?

​For a long time now, since the early 1900s in Hatch, New Mexico, green chile has become a part of New Mexico’s astounding history. The recipe? There is no one recipe. The luxury of New Mexico green chile is the fact that there are many ways to create it; it can be saucy; it can be chunky­—the list is endless.

Take a trip to that of Federal Blvd., just minutes away from Downtown Denver; there are tents with signs that say “Hatch Green Chile.” Colorado chile can’t be superior if it’s not even selling its own product in cities.

​Colorado claims that their chile is superior compared to that of New Mexico because it boasts chunks of meat and there’s red and green colored chile. If the chile contains chunks of meat, let’s remember, it’s not just chile, but green chile meat, which is something New Mexico also has. There’s nothing special about Colorado.

Also, the question when entering any Mexican food restaurant in New Mexico is always “Red, Green, or Christmas?”; it embraces all aspects of chile making. From tasty, flavorful red, to the spicy and luscious smell of green, the chile is unmatched to the competitor.

Don’t forget, New Mexican chile is better than that of Colorado because of its climate. In Colorado, it’s too humid, and weather is unpredictable, making it hard to grow exponentially. In New Mexico, specifically Hatch, the climate is the right temperature to produce the best chile.

​As the Governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, once tweeted: “If Colorado Chile were any good, it would be on national shelves by now. If Colorado wants to go chile to chile, no question New Mexico can bring the heat. Hatch green chile is, has been and will always be the greatest.” And it’s not because New Mexico is an egotistical bully, it’s just better.

Colorado is an exclusive delight

Opinion by Amanda Blackman

It’s a tale as old as time, but it doesn’t need to be. When comparing their runny green sauce to the rich and flavorful Colorado green chile, the great war between states can end. Wave that white flag, New Mexico, because Colorado’s green chile reigns supreme.

Just look at the two. Looking at the New Mexican version of green chile, what does it look like? It’s mushy, it’s 90 percent liquid, and completely lacking in texture. Compare it to the goldmine that is Colorado green chile. It’s got chunks of pork roast, jalapeño slices, and embraces both red and green colored chile peppers. There’s something comforting in its heartiness, rather than the feeble New Mexico version.

When comparing ingredients in popular green chile recipes, one difference is startling: New Mexico’s green chile is, in fact, diluted. The state sponsored recipe calls for an astronomical amount of broth. What about Colorado green chile? Much less is required, which gives Colorado green chile its unique thick texture, instead of New Mexico’s runny disaster. Colorado makes chile, New Mexico makes salsa. At best.

Even though Colorado’s green chile is leagues above New Mexico’s, which green chile is known nation wide? It’s New Mexico. The state’s tourism department’s marketing campaign surrounds it. It’s in everyone’s faces, all the time. It’s on billboards, commercials, and even on the shelves of grocery stores.

But that isn’t a benefit of the chile. The incredible amounts of publicity turned it from a regional specialty into a generic. There’s nothing special about it. Everyone and their mother has eaten it, most of which are likely to think, “… that’s it?”

Where is Colorado green chile served? In Colorado. It’s special to the region only. It’s elusive and mysterious. Not many people outside of Colorado even know what Colorado green chile is. So when they hear of it, it has the type of appeal that New Mexico never will.

New Mexico is a green chile elitist bully. They refuse to acknowledge how their sauce lacks but continue to shovel it out as their only positive contribution to American society. Colorado green chile, though, screams of quiet excellence. Nothing will ever beat it, especially not New Mexico’s excuse for green chile.

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