Fun Facts about New Mexico Green Chile:

  • One fresh medium sized green chile pod has as much Vitamin C as six oranges.
  • One teaspoon of dried red chile powder has the daily requirements of Vitamin A.
  • Hot chile peppers burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic burn in the body, which speeds up the metabolism.
  • Teas & lozenges are made with chile peppers for the treatment of a sore throat.
  • The Capsaicinoids (the chemical that make chile peppers hot) is used in muscle patches for sore and aching muscles.
  • Wild chiles are spread by birds because birds do not have the receptors in their mouths to feel the heat.
  • Chile peppers originated in South America and then spread to Central and North America.
  • The Indians of the American tropics cultivated the chile pepper for centuries for both its culinary and medicinal uses.
  • On his first voyage to the Western hemisphere Christopher Columbus mistakenly called the fiery chile pepper pod “pepper” because of its heat thinking it was a relative of black pepper.
  • All chile peppers are edible, even ornamentals. Ornamentals however, have been bred for their appearance and usually have little to no flavor and can be very hot.
  • Chile peppers are relatives of tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants, all belonging to the nightshade family.
  • The color extracted from very red chile pepper pods, oleoresin, is used in everything from lipstick to processed meats.
  • There are 26 known species of chile pepper, five of which are domesticated.

A Chile Pepper Institute publication, New Mexico State University © 2007