New Mexico’s Independent Culinary Authority

Issue Three: Red or Green

Cover Art by Jaque Fragua​

Jaque Fragua is an Indigenous artist whose work features visions drawn from traditional Native American ceramics, blankets, tattoo designs, and more. Fragua authentically repurposes his culture’s iconography, which conceptually subverts our overconsumption of misappropriated Native American design and identity.

editor’s note

“I​​s it beautiful every day?”

“I thought the sky was falling on my head.”

“Christmas is always the right answer.”

These things people say about New Mexico.

But for some, the answer is always green. For others, red. There are those who always order theirs on the side.

Red or green might not be an ancient question, yet it feels timeless.

In “Notes for the Children,” Luci Tapahonso describes having to explain the frozen mutton in her luggage at the airport in Albuquerque. She has frozen chile too, but that goes without saying. “When we taste mutton,” Tapahonso says of Diné people, “we are reminded of the mountains, the air, the laughter and humor surrounding a meal, but mostly we are reminded of loved ones.”

For many New Mexicans, something like this is also true of chile.

“It is claimed for chile,” wrote Erna Fergusson in her Mexican Cookbook, “that ‘it protects against colds and malaria, it aids digestion, it clarifies the blood, it develops robustness and resistance to the elements; it even acts as a stimulant to the romantically inclined.’”

But it’s not only about the chile. It’s about the beans, the corn, the land, the history. It’s about the kitchen, the road, the dirt.

Words echo from Jimmy Santiago Baca’s Meditations on the South Valley: “Sunset over the black water of the Río Grande. / It means something to me.”

Posole as Process

leticia gonzales makes a posole, illuminating along the way how the classic dish “is genius in action.”

Gas Station Gastronomy

Ungelbah Dávila-Shivers takes to the road and uncovers good food you’ve probably been driving by without knowing it.

Cecilia’s Chile

Ty Bannerman might not eat like a fireman, but he knows a good red chile when he tastes it.

Posole as Process

leticia gonzales makes a posole, illuminating along the way how the classic dish “is genius in action.”

Gas Station Gastronomy

Ungelbah Dávila-Shivers takes to the road and uncovers good food you’ve probably been driving by without knowing it.

Cecilia’s Chile

Ty Bannerman might not eat like a fireman, but he knows a good red chile when he tastes it.

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