Chile has been grown in New Mexico for at least four centuries. It is said that Don Juan de Oñate grew chiles.
The three major pod types grown in New Mexico are New Mexican, Cayenne, and Jalapeño.
The most common pod type grown in the United States is the Bell Pepper.
Anaheim seed originated in New Mexico and was taken to California.
The word "Paprika" means "Chile" in Hungarian.
Chile is normally planted in the Mesilla Valley between March 1st and April 1st.
Between 2 and 10 pounds of chile seed is planted per acre.
The seeds are planted about one inch deep.
The row widths are 30 to 40 inches.
The green crop will be ready for harvest in about 120 days, at the beginning of August.
The red crop will take about 165 days, ready in late September prior to the first frost.
The plants are thinned, resulting in one plant every 10 to 12 inches.
Chile is a shallow-rooted crop and uses about 5 acre-feet of water during its lifetime.
A good harvest of Long Green Chile is about 17 tons per acre.
When Long Green Chile turns red and is harvested and dried, it results in about 3,500 pounds per acre.
Invented by locals for their "friends" new to the Mesilla Valley. (See Taster)
One of the alkaloids in chile that makes it hot.
One of the groups of alkaloids in chile that makes it hot.
The genus name for chiles. The genus Capsicum is a member of the Solanaceae family that includes tomato, potato, tobacco, and petunia.
Anything consisting of the capsicum plant or the fruit from the plant.
A culinary dish consisting of red chile powder and ground beef. Chili does not contain beans.
Indicates a chile was developed at New Mexico State University.
The heat of chiles.
A measure of chile pungency, named after Wilbur Scoville, based on the dilution of chile samples until heat is no longer detected by a “Taster.”
A person new to the Mesilla Valley.
AKA the "Mucho Macho" or "Poco Loco Test," used to verify the length of residency in the Mesilla Valley — or sanity.
The Patron of New Mexico Chile.
Dr. Garcia developed "New Mexico No. 9" and released it in 1913 (Garcia 1921). New Mexico No. 9 is a crossbreed of Mexican pasilla and chile pepper Colorado. This was important historically because it was the first chile cultivar released from New Mexico State University, and it introduced a new pod type, "New Mexico," to the world. The pungency of "New Mexico No. 9" is estimated to have been around 1,000 – 1,500 Scoville Heat Units.
Today the New Mexico pod type is also called Long Green and is now a 400+ million-dollar industry in New Mexico.
New Mexico State University has the longest continuous program of chile improvement in the world. All "New Mexican" type chiles grown today gained their genetic base from cultivars developed at NMSU.
Born in 1871 in Chihuahua, Mexico. Died on August 6, 1948, in New Mexico. Dr. Garcia's grandmother brought him to New Mexico as a child. Dr. Garcia was known to be astute with finances and had the reputation of a gentleman. He willed his estate to NMSU with a directive that the funds were to be used to educate poor youths, as he knew their plight.
This list is a ballpark example. Scoville Heat Units can vary widely (in a class as well as between the different varieties).
For example, Jalapeños can vary between 4,000 SHU and 50,000 SHU. Pasilla can be pleasantly mild.
The pungency levels are a result of two factors; the plant's genetics and the environment in which it grows. The ambient temperature and the amount of water the plant receives during its life are factors.