Chiles have played a central role in the Hispanic culture that today envelops New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of southern California, southern Colorado, and western Texas, as well as Mexico. The nature of the Hispanic culture can be seen in all of these places, whether it be the ristras, red chile pods that have been strung and hung to dry outside homes or businesses, or the green chiles rellenos that so many people come hundreds of miles to taste.

Some popular peppers: clockwise from top left, Ancho, Bell, Habanero Red Savina, New Mexico Joseph E. Parker, New Mexico Big Jim, Cayenne, and JalapeC1o.

Although the Hispanic culture has traversed borde…

Table 1—Pungency and uses of chile peppers

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