SANTA FE, N.M. — There are not many things New Mexicans cherish more than chile.
Not the soupy stuff from Texas or Cincinnati — that is chili, with an ‘i’ — but the fiery red or green sauce drawn from peppers plucked on New Mexico’s sun-soaked farms.
For generations here, locals have slathered their food with it, argued about who serves the hottest and whispered recipes passed on from tias, abuelas — aunts and grandmothers — and even the occasional East Coast transplant.
But these days, the state’s legendary chile industry may be in trouble.
Despite an increased demand around the country, chile harvesting in New Mexico has plummeted in the past 20 years. Farmers and suppliers say they are being priced out by cheaper foreign peppers and betrayed by impostors who falsely claim to sell New Mexico chile in restaurants and supermarkets and at roadside stands.
Read the whole story at the Paper of Record: NYTimes.com.