New Mexico Loves Green Chile So Much It Might Become The State's Official Aroma

When you think of green chiles, you might immediately envision New Mexico, the state with which the pepper is most closely associated. New Mexico's tourism website describes green chiles as the "state's icon and a culinary treasure beloved by chile connoisseurs around the world." You'll find it there in stews, sauces, and slathered over burritos and enchiladas. 

New Mexico is also known for Hatch chiles, green and red peppers that are grown in the Hatch Valley area of the state with distinctive growing conditions that affect its unique taste and flavor (via If you're going to order a burger somewhere in New Mexico, there's a good chance that it will come smothered in Hatch green or red chiles. Publications even release lists of the top green chile cheeseburgers to try at various restaurants, such as New Mexico Magazine.

New Mexico is so gaga over peppers, it even hosts a New Mexico Chile Conference in Las Cruces. Plus, New Mexico State University houses the Chile Pepper Institute, the only international nonprofit dedicated to chile pepper research and education (via New Mexico State University). New Mexico is especially fond of its green chiles, though, so much so that they might just become the state's official aroma.

Pepper aroma legislation on lawmakers' plates

Now we are all probably familiar with distinctions such as state birds, flowers, and mottos, but a state aroma? If it sounds unusual, it is because this potential designation would make New Mexico a pioneer in the arena of aromas as the first place in the country to declare an official state scent.

Lawmakers are currently considering proposed legislation that would proclaim roasted green chile as the state aroma, reports the Associated Press. The chile has serious clout and is revered in New Mexico, which already lists it as an official state vegetable and cultivated more than 60% of the U.S. pepper crop in 2021. If any state deserves to boast a type of pepper as their state aroma, it likely should be New Mexico.

The proposal has already passed its first committee, and this appears to be one of those rare issues that is not expected to divide down party lines. Democrats and Republican politicians alike in New Mexico can at least agree on one thing: They love their chile peppers and they want them to be recognized.