According to many accounts, chili peppers were introduced into what is now the U.S. by Capitan General Juan de Oñate, the founder of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1598. After the Spanish began settlement, the cultivation of chile peppers exploded, and soon they were grown all over New Mexico. One variety that adapted particularly well to New Mexico was a long green chile that turned red in the fall. The chili was called “Anaheim” because of its adaptation to the more settled California around 1900.
They were cultivated as a spice, hung on strings and dried.
In 1846, William Emory, Chief Engineer of the Army’s Topographic Unit, was surveying the New Mexico landscape and its customs. He described a meal eaten by people in Bernalillo, just north of Albuquerque: “Roast chicken, stuffed with onions; then mutton, boiled with onions; then followed various other dishes, all dressed with the everlasting onion; and the whole terminated by chile, the glory of New Mexico.” (fiery- foods.com)
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