Word of Mouth

Reader: Colorado, Grow the Marijuana...Let New Mexico Grow the Chiles

Mark Antonation
The food fight started with Governor Jared Polis's July 6 tweet noting that Whole Foods Market locations across the state and throughout the region would soon stock Pueblo chiles, "the best chiles in the world." It grew more heated when Michelle Lujan Grisham, governor of New Mexico, tweeted this response: "If Pueblo chile were any good, it would have been on national shelves before now. If Colorado wants to go chile to chile, no question that New Mexico can bring the heat — Hatch chile is, has always been and will always be the greatest in the world."

Then for a while, it looked like things had cooled down; the two governors agreed to a chile showdown at an as-yet-undetermined time. But this week, TV ads touting New Mexico as the "Chile Capital of the World" popped up, as did a billboard at Eighth and Lincoln, just six blocks from the Colorado State Capitol.

And the war of the words continues in reader comments: Says Jeremiah: 
Colorado, just grow the marijuana; let New Mexico grow the chile...stay in your lane.
Concurs Shannon: 
Sorry. I'm a Colorado native, and NM has the best.
Adds C Cash:  
I am also a Colorado native and I spent a few years living in Santa Fe, and hands down, NM grows the best green chile.
Responds Julian: 
A lie that is repeated does not necessarily become a truth...
Asks Tamara: 
Really, who cares? I picked up roasted chiles at a farmers' market and made my version of New Mexico pork chile. It was fabulous!
Suggests Laura: 
The billboard is merely a reminder that the people of Colorado don’t have their own culture, so they try to claim another state’s culture.
Responds Nathan: 
Excuse me, sweetie, but we invented Quiznos
Jokes (?) Michael: 
And Chipotle. And Qdoba. And Hacienda Colorado. Pfff, no culture?
In the TV ads (available on YouTube) touting New Mexico chiles, the narrator mentions "our less fortunate neighbors to the north," right over an image of a Colorado license plate.

But Polis is keeping his cool. "The fact that they have to design a promotional campaign in support of their chiles shows how superior the Pueblo chile is," Colorado's governor says. "Our Pueblo chile promotes itself. Granting yourself a title doesn’t simply make it true. One thing is for certain, Coloradans know the Pueblo chile is the best chile in the world.”

What do you think of the chile war? Which is better, Hatch or Pueblo? Post a comment or email [email protected] And read the results of our own green chile contest here.