Food Bliss

Welcome to the market

As with so many things, I know just enough about food to be dangerous. And I know this: Santa Fe is considered a foodie destination, and New Mexican cuisine, especially here in the north, is its own creature. Not Mexican, not Tex-Mex, and of course heavily infused with the local crops. At my favorite little chile shop (called, oddly enough, the Chile Shop), one confection combined two of those products, chile and pecans (yes, the state is a top producer of that nut).

Chile peppers of all shapes and sizes and intensities abound here, and the official state question is “Red or green?” – a reference to your choice of chile when ordering your food in a restaurant. (And please note, it is spelled chile here, in all forms, and not chili). To really get a sense of the importance of chile to New Mexican cuisine – and the economy – head to the Santa Fe Farmers‘ Market.

Great way to start the day

Such an aroma!

There might be bigger markets, but I bet not many can match the sights and smells here. Fresh-roasted peppers, ristras hanging everywhere, and an abundance of organic produce – I was in heaven as I strolled through the booths early this morning. I‘m sure I bought more produce that I can conceivably eat before I leave, but so what. I got spinach, arugula and roasted peppers and tomatoes for a pizza I plan to make, celeriac just because it looked so fresh, daikon radish sprouts, parlsey, garlic – and that was my showing some restraint. The baked goods looked wonderful, though none were vegan. I also had some hot cider and admired the varieties of potatoes and greens and apples I didn‘t buy. Yeah, just like my local farmers‘ market in West Haven…

Too cute to eat?

The prices, I admit, were not cheap. But that could be because it‘s the end of the season, and a reflection of the fact that farmers‘ markets and organic produce is always more expensive than what you get in the supermarket. But there was a sense of community there you don‘t get at Stop and Shop, and maybe other farmers‘ markets. Customers and merchants exchanged easy small talk, I met the guy who had roasted the peppers I sampled, the guy with the beeswax candles made those things himself. If I needed another excuse to someday settle in Santa Fe (and I don‘t), the experience at the market cinched the deal.

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~ by mburgan on November 6, 2010.

2 Responses to “Food Bliss”

  1. Try some posole while you’re there!!! I loved it and CRAVED it when I got back. Can only find it canned here and have never had any like it again.

  2. I’ve had it before3 on previous trips. You should see if the Chile Shop has the ingredients to make your own; I think it does.

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