A few weeks ago I visited Chimayo, NM, a town famous for its miracles and its chile (and both). Across the road from the church shrine is a small restaurant and stall that sells "Holy Chile". A middle aged Hispanic man he sells his products off of an old kitchen table with a plastic table cloth in front of the restaurant. " A middle aged Hispanic man puts on quite a show! He has 5 or 6 different varieties of local chiles (red, green, orange pulp, crushed, "#1", "#2".)
He has developed a patter where he breaks open (NM) pistachios, puts garlic salt and different varieties of the chile in the shell, pours a bit on your hand, asks you to lick the mixture off your hand, then eat the pistachio. He went on for almost 1/2 hr in this demonstration, suggesting recipes, historical tidbits, etc. and clearly enjoying himself (as was his audience of 4, since it was a unusually cold and cloudy day in NM).
I bought 4 of his bags of different chiles (red, green, orange, #1) and have been enjoying them tremendously, mixing and matching as he suggested. I’ve made chili, beef stew, green chile stew with chicken, omelettes, etc. Chimayo chile, while surely hot, also has a very fresh sweet flavor that emphasizes its fruit-nature (in fact, one recipe is ripe canteloupe spriknled with salt and chile.)
I recommend a stop here if you are in the neighborhood (25 miles north of Santa Fe) or even just playing with different chiles on your own (licking it off your hand?)Hmmmhmmm