New Mexico Red or Green Chile

Green Chile StewPasoleIt is said the major question in New Mexico is “… red or green?”  This is in reference to your chile preference.  There are plenty of articles discussing this question.  To avoid this critical decision, one can order their chile ‘Christmas’ which is half and half.  There are two New Mexican dishes one can order and avoid the question, green chile stew (never red) and posole which is always made with red in the restaurants.   Please note I am aware these are not fine art photographs and may have been taken after a couple beers, but I think you get the idea.  There is, in my opinion, a large difference between southern New Mexico and northern New Mexico food.   We think it is easier to find good New Mexican food in northern New Mexico like Santa Fe and Taos area.  The important concept to grasp is to eat where and what the locals eat.  Stay away from the chains when traveling and experiment with the food with an open mind.

Farolitos or Luminarias in Taos

Farolitos and Luminarias on Ledoux Street Taos, NM

Farolitos and Luminarias on Ledoux Street Taos, NM


New Mexico has a tradition of lighting Farolitos and Luminarias during the holidays.  Above are brown paper bags with a bit of sand and small candle placed inside for illumination.  Small bonfires are also lit.  The other pastime in New Mexico, other than discussing which is better, red or green chile, is to argue if the bags are called luminarios and the small bonfires are called firelitos, or is it the other way around?  I prefer to call the scene above bag-a-litos so there is no mistake about it….

I spent the month of December 2013 in Taos searching for a specific Christmas scene.  An adobe wall and gate with a Christmas wreath, snow and some bag-a-litos.  Not only did I not find such a gate, but there was hardly any snow in December.  So the search goes on.  Ledoux Street was made famous in part by the Navajo artist, R.C. Gorman.

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