If you’ve never traveled to the Land of Enchantment, you should. They have gorgeous scenery, hot air balloons, and delicious cuisine. I’m talking, of course, about New Mexico: the Land of Enchantment.
All states have those little nicknames. You know, like “Nebraska: The Good Life,” “Washington: the Evergreen State,” and “Vermont: the first place I suggest where someone who is not currently present could be.”
The way that we Americans preserve the memory of places we immigrated from is by naming our new homes after old ones: New York, New Jersey, New Mexico. The difference between the first two and the third is that the former states are nowhere near their namesakes, while in the case of the latter, just on the other side of the southern border sits the country for which it was named.
So what’s the difference between York and New York, and Jersey and New Jersey? Well, the obvious, of course, would be that the “New” versions are all stars in America’s flag while the originals are counties in England. They are separated by an entire ocean, and while I’m sure you could find similar characteristics, they are most likely nothing alike, aside from their names.
What about Mexico and New Mexico? Because of their proximity, they share the same breathtaking landscape, weather and temperature patterns, and culinary tendencies. There isn’t much to separate them land and climate wise, so the big difference comes in the style of sustenance. And the main difference between Mexican food and New Mexican food? Green chilies.
|Photo taken by Cindy Petrehn at the 2012|
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
I’m not joking. If you go to Taco Bell, you can order a burrito. If you go to Taco Bell in Albuquerque, there will most likely be green chilies on it. New Mexicans put green chili in everything. Places it belongs, like breakfast burritos at Dos Hermanos, to places that you wouldn’t expect to find it but you’re glad you did, like in bagels at Einstein Brothers or as a topping on pizza at Dion’s.
The fact that the entire world does not have an appropriate amount of green chilies in its food is a travesty. It is the second best thing about visiting the Land of Enchantment (the best thing being that my husband’s awesome family lives there), and one of the greatest things about marrying into a family of New Mexicans.
And when you marry into a family that loves NM cuisine, there is a lifetime of green chilies ahead of you. Like this dip that my husband makes that has only garlic, sour cream, and green chilies in it, and it’s sooooo delicious...
I highly recommend a visit to New Mexico. Come for the fun and the sun, stay for the food. Just don’t forget that the green chili dip is usually spicier the next day.