I was asked a question regarding New Mexico chile pepper, and wasn’t sure how to answer. I am hoping you could enlighten me a little. Are New Mexico chile varieties grown in California? Would the Anaheim varieties be of New Mexico origin? Aside from heat differences, the packaged whole pods in the stores, labeled "New Mexico Chile Pods" and "California Chile Pods" are they different varieties? Would there ever be a time when a New Mexico variety, grown in California, be called a New Mexico Chile pepper or vice versa? I know the peppers Conagra grows are the mild, paprika-type…what are these peppers? Anaheims grown in New Mexico? Thank you. Regards,
"New Mexican" is a pod type of Capsicum annuum, just like jalapeno is. There are many varieties within this pod type, one of which is ’Anaheim’, which was originally from New Mexico but was taken to the L.A. area around 1900. The labeling of dried red chile pods indicates where they are grown. If the package says "California," the pods are most likely to be ’Anaheim’. If they are labeled "New Mexico" they could be a number of varieties, but most likely ’No.6-4’ or ’Barker’. ’Anaheim’ is not grown in New Mexico. It is possible that a New Mexico variety could be grown in California and still called "New Mexico" for marketing reasons. Any nonpungent red chile grown in the U.S. is called "paprika," which is a generic term. I hope these comments answer your questions.