Jan 11, 2013
An exhibit created by the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum is now on display in the Governor’s Gallery at the State Capitol in Santa Fe.
“Red or Green?” The Origins and Cultural Significance of the Chile Pepper in New Mexico was selected for the Governor’s Gallery a few months ago and opened there this week. It will be on display through May 10. Three Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum staff members traveled to Santa Fe last month to install the exhibit.
This fun and educational exhibit focuses on New Mexico chile varieties, their history and evolution, and how they came to have such a central place in the state’s culture.
The state Legislature named the chile as a state vegetable in 1965 and designated Red or Green?” as the state question in 1996, in reference to whether you prefer red or green chile on your food.
The exhibit traces the origins of the chile and how the Spanish brought the plant to the American Southwest in the early 1600s. It features the emergence of regional production centers such as Hatch and Chimayo, and the development of specific varieties by researchers such as Fabian Garcia at New Mexico A&MA College in the early 1900s.
Following the historical section, the exhibit focuses on how the chile became a key component of New Mexico culture – both as a cuisine and as a symbol. The exhibit was in display at the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in 2010-11.
Also last fall in Santa Fe, the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum was invited to install a dozen historical images on the walls of the Governor’s Cabinet Room.