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Let's Taco 'Bout it

  • Writer's pictureJonathan Tejada

Green Chile: Battle between states!

Something about the smell of freshly roasted green chiles brings a wave of nostalgia over me. I close my eyes and I remember helping my dad peel green chiles and watching him make our signature green chili. This was a tradition we followed every fall season to prepare for a winter full of warm bowls and hot green chili or a breakfast of huevos rancheros smothered in green chili.

If you’re from Colorado, you are no stranger to green chiles. However, there is a lot to learn about green chiles so let me drop some knowledge on you! Green chiles come in many different shapes and sizes, but the two most popular variances come from Hatch, New Mexico and Pueblo, Colorado. Being a Colorado native we are going to be focusing on the best green chile *cough* *cough*… Pueblo green chiles.

Pueblo green chiles have not been around for as long as some of you might believe. The Mosco variety, better known as Pueblo green chiles, actually came to be in the early 1990’s. Dr. Mike Bartolo was given a bag of seeds from his uncle Harry Mosco, which he began to plant and experiment with. From his crops, he found a mutation where the chiles had much thicker walls and were larger in size. This makes them perfect for roasting as the thick skin will protect the inside and char very nicely. This mutation also has more kick than your average Hatch chiles with a Scoville between 5,000-20,000, compared to the Hatch which falls in the 500-3,000 range.

After this discovery he began giving samples of the seeds to farmers in Pueblo and they loved it. Soon enough, every crop in Pueblo was using the Mosco variety making it the better-known Pueblo green chile. For more information about Dr. Bartolo, I highly recommend Pull up Your Plants for a full discussion on Pueblo green chiles.

With the creation of the Pueblo green chile, shortly after came the rift between Hatch and Pueblo green chiles. Everyone between here and California has their opinion on who has the best green chiles, and in recent years this has even become a state competition between governors. What started off as a simple shout-out from Governor Jared Polis, led to a chile taste-off between him and Michelle Grisham, Governor of New Mexico. They are both convinced that their state’s chiles are the best and are not afraid to campaign to support their view. (photo gallery of all the tweets)

If you haven’t tried green chiles yet, what are you waiting for?! Not only is it super delicious but it also has a lot of nutritional value. Did you know a single green chile has as much Vitamin C as six oranges? Or that they increase your metabolism which promotes weight loss?

The most popular form to eat this vegetable is in green chili, a yummy stew with pork and green chiles as the stars of the dish. If you are looking for a place to try authentic house-made green chili, then make sure to check out Taco Bron for some of the best green chili in Colorado.

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