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What Is the National Dish of New Mexico?

Perilagu Khan Dec 12, 2010 06:16 AM

New Mexico is one of the great food states. It has a plethora of wonderful dishes that are more or less indigenous, and the cuisine scene in general is just marvelous. All of which got me wondering just what dish is the one New Mexicans take greatest pride in. Is it the green chile cheeseburger? Posole? Green chile stew? Stacked enchiladas with a fried egg on top? The Navajo taco? The stuffed sopaipilla? Tamales? Chile rellenos? Something else altogether?

Seeing as how I'm not a New Mexican but a mere Texan who likes to toss the mountain lion among the sheep, I'll not cast a vote but simply wait for the wool to fly.

  1. f
    Fydeaux Dec 12, 2010 09:37 AM

    I am not a NM resident either [I am a regular visitor], but there are three dishes that I think of as the most iconic where New Mexico is concerned, so I would select any one of them: Green Chile Stew, Carne Adovada, or Frito Pie.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Fydeaux
      Perilagu Khan Dec 13, 2010 09:53 AM

      Just for the record, the Frito Pie was invented in Texas.

      1. re: Perilagu Khan
        Passadumkeg Dec 14, 2010 08:28 PM

        Ah hem, Sante Fe. Here we go again, PK. Texans and Russians invented everything. Next thing you'll be telling us is that red chile has cumin in it. Heh, heh, heh.
        Feliz Navidad y un Prosperio Ano Nuevo, compadre.

        1. re: Passadumkeg
          alanbarnes Dec 14, 2010 09:58 PM

          More specifically, the Woolworth's drugstore counter on the square in Santa Fe. NEW MEXICO. Texas can lay claim to plenty of dishes, Bob Armstrong dip among them, but the Frito pie ain't one of them.

          1. re: alanbarnes
            Fydeaux Dec 15, 2010 05:15 AM

            Which is where I had it the first time, and why it will always be a New Mexico dish to me.

            1. re: alanbarnes
              Perilagu Khan Dec 15, 2010 06:22 AM

              That's the New Mexico origin tale. The other is that Frito Pie was invented by the mother of the founder of Frito-Lay in San Antone in the 1930s. I do know that Frito Pies have been served at Little League baseball games in Texas for decades. Personally, I think Frito Pie is a much better invention than baseball.

            2. re: Passadumkeg
              Perilagu Khan Dec 15, 2010 06:23 AM

              I return the sentiments, moi droog.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                Passadumkeg Dec 15, 2010 07:25 AM

                Ochen horror show, tovarisch!

        2. DebitNM Dec 12, 2010 03:39 PM

          According to the Blue Book, there is no official state dish. The bizcochito is the state cookie, chile and frijoles are the state vegetables.

          To answer your question from a personal point of view- I would vote for chile rellenos. Heaven.
          There are so many great dishes here, you just have to keep sampling them to try and find one to vote on!


          1. c
            Chimayo Joe Dec 13, 2010 01:23 AM

            Despite my moniker, I'm not from NM either. Talking about iconic, I'd say stacked blue corn enchiladas. If I were just voting on what I like to eat most, I'd probably say carne adovada, and I'm sure my wife's vote would go to chile rellenos.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chimayo Joe
              Perilagu Khan Dec 13, 2010 04:30 AM

              Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems that blue corn is used much more in the ABQ-SF-Taos corridor than the rest of the state. In southern New Mexico one rarely encounters the stuff.

            2. c
              cathartic Dec 13, 2010 05:21 PM

              Anything that requires you to answer red or green.

              1. Passadumkeg Dec 14, 2010 08:31 PM

                Red chile pork stacked enchilada con un huevo frito.
                I'll pole my Hispanic, Acoma, Laguna, Zuni and Mormon students tomorrow.

                1. Passadumkeg Dec 14, 2010 08:39 PM

                  STOP THE PRESSES! Stuffed sopappaillas. No other state has 'em, unless they stoie 'em.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                    Muskrat Dec 14, 2010 08:43 PM

                    I agree with sopapillas, stuffed or nada.

                  2. deet13 Dec 14, 2010 08:45 PM

                    Fry bread....

                    1. alanbarnes Dec 14, 2010 10:24 PM

                      I am a native New Mexican, but was regrettably born in Portales (so far from heaven, so close to Texas...) Fortunately, the last five generations of my family comes from places like San Geronimo, Belen, Socorro, Estancia, Las Vegas and 'Burque.

                      Green chile cheeseburgers are truly a culinary delight, but they're a recent invention. Posole in its many variations can be found all around the border regions. Tamales? Um, no. And chile rellenos only count as New Mexican if you're stuffing a NuMex pepper (no, I won't call them "Hatch" chiles.)

                      Stacked enchiladas have a legitimate claim, although they still can be found outside New Mexico. (I didn't know any other kind of enchilada existed until around puberty.) And sopapillas - a favorite food that very few folks outside of NM have heard of, but still gets mentioned in places like Denver.

                      But "Christmas" - AFAIK it's purely local. Enchiladas, tacos, eggs, pancakes, whatever - red chile on one side, green chile on the other. Yeah, anything "Christmas" is the national dish of New Mexico.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: alanbarnes
                        Perilagu Khan Dec 15, 2010 06:29 AM

                        One can't fault New Mexico for inventing something so delicious that it spreads beyond its borders. Therefore I wouldn't exclude stuffed sopapillas and stacked enchiladas on that score. By the by, both of those items are still exceedingly rare a scant 80 miles east of The Land of Entrapment.

                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                          Passadumkeg Dec 15, 2010 07:28 AM

                          Ya know, I'd rather eat a red stacked enchie, than lobster (But maybe not this summer.).

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                            Passadumkeg Dec 15, 2010 07:38 AM

                            As odd as it sounds there is a New Mexico restaurant in S. Hadley, Ma. Finlero turned me on to it when I was living in Maine and #5 son was going to Amhurst. I had a green stacked enchie w/ fried egg on top and a bowl of red pork posole.
                            My Hispanic, native born New Mexico Vice-Principal agrees w/ the stuffed sopappailla.

                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                              Perilagu Khan Dec 15, 2010 07:51 AM

                              Was the resto any good? Pretty doggone strange when you can get New Mexican food in S. Hadley, Mass. but not in Lubbock, Texas. There is no posole to be had here. Nor stacked enchiladas and green chile stew. And there's only one spot I know of that serves a GCCB. Sounds like there could be a market opening for you, Pdk. I, for one, would be a regular customer, but hopefully not an onry one.

                              1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                Passadumkeg Dec 15, 2010 07:54 AM

                                Not too bad. The owner drove a big truck down to Hatch each year for his year's supply of green chiles. He is, of course, a New Mexican. You ought to hear those "damn Yankees" howling that it is not authentic Mexican food! they need to read the menu.

                                Wen have 5 quite good New Mexican restos. in the Grants/Milan area.

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