New Mexico Food
Chile is the most noted component of Nuevomexicano cuisine, if only for its prominence and intensity. It is not clear when chiles were introduced to New Mexico, but we know that in most of Mexico in the very early Spanish period Spaniards adopted the Native American customs of eating chile with their meat. In New Mexico chile is essentially divided between red chile from the north and green chile from Hatch, in the south. It is used as a condiment or as an essential ingredient in stews for example, pork stew or stuffed to make chile relleno, this being largely a Mexican adaptation. But beyond the prominence of chile in food as a matter of taste and style, its use has a long-standing practical element. Dating to the colonial era, there has been a tradition of not wasting animal parts, especially in a region where supplies were scarce. This is how adobo a kind of pork stew in red chile was born. Though today adobo is made and served wet, it originated as a way of preserving the meat of the pig, which would otherwise spoil. The traditional method was to marinate the pork in a mixture of vinegar, chile, and spices and then to let the meat dry. Other traditional dishes derived
from this need not to waste food: pozole (spelled posole in New Mexico) is a stew made from large corn (hominy) and various pork products, and morcilla (blood sausage) is also a product of this tradition.
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