New Mexico is one of the few states with its own recognized cuisine. Influenced by Native American and Spanish cultures, dishes here tend to revolve around chile, corn, and beans. Here are the foods that New Mexicans simply can’t live without.
1. Green or Red Chile
Come on, this had to be number one. In addition to using chile in New Mexican dishes, we also toss it on pizzas, put it in apple pie, and add it to cornbread.
Don’t know this acronym? Visit New Mexico and you will. It stands for “green chile cheeseburger.” Sometimes the chile is chopped, while other times it's in the form of a sauce. Either way, the debate over which restaurant serves the best GCCB is more intense than anything on the Scoville scale.
3. Green Chile Stew
Think of it as chicken soup for New Mexicans. We believe it has restorative powers.
We have plenty of rolled enchiladas, like you’ll find in other states, but some restaurants serve the tortillas flat or open face.
5. Anything With Blue Corn
This ingredient is used to make blue corn tortillas, which have a nuttier, more earthy taste than their yellow corn counterparts. But you’ll also see blue corn chips, muffins, pancakes, and even pizza crust!
6. Carne Adovada
This pork dish gets its kick by soaking in a marinade, which contains chile, onion, and spices, for about a day. Lots of people like it in their breakfast burritos.
7. Breakfast Burritos
Speaking of… these were invented in New Mexico in the 1970s, and they’re the ultimate, portable breakfast.
8. Piñon Coffee
Pair your breakfast burrito with a cup of piñon coffee to start your day New Mexican style. Piñon nuts are a pine nut that grows in high altitude parts of the state.
These fried clouds of dough are a popular bread substitute. Sweet versions are drizzled with honey, while savory sopaipillas are stuffed with an assortment of ground meat, beans, and cheese.
10. Fry Bread
Fry bread is a type of Native American bread that is a bit like an elephant ear. Denser and crispier than sopaipillas, fry bread can also be either savory or sweet. Savory versions are called Indian tacos because the bread is slathered with taco filling and toppings.
Biscochito recipes vary, but anise and cinnamon are key flavors. Traditionally, people eat these cookies around Christmas, but why deprive yourself the rest of the year?
12. Artisan Chocolate
Artisan chocolate has become increasingly popular nationwide and there are now numerous gourmet chocolatiers in New Mexico. In fact, Albuquerque hosts the annual Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest.
13. Frito Pie
Frito pie is just Texas-style chili, generally served in a slit-open, full Fritos bag, with cheese.
14. Beef Jerky
Judging by the endless roadside stands devoted to the stuff, we can’t get enough of it.