Eating the World

Locally Made: Bill Hutchison Solves the New Mexico Pepper Debate

​The secret to Bill Hutchison's Kissed With Fire Salsa starts in New Mexico, where the official state bird is the roadrunner and the official state question is "red or green"?  

The question refers to the New Mexico Chile, a pepper with a long and somewhat heated history in the state. In Albuquerque, people say that the early picked green peppers are the best, while a ways north in Santa Fe, residents swear by the sweetness of the late- picked red. 

While traveling on business as a maintenance contractor for State Farm Insurance, Hutchison fell for the mouth-watering subtleties of the New Mexico chile pepper. After sampling chile dishes all across New Mexico, from roadside gas station booths to well known favorites like Albuquerque's Sadies, Hutchison brought the peppers back to Phoenix where he began experimenting with the chile in his own recipes.

As for the question that causes such debate among our neighbors in New Mexico? Hutchison is a green man.

​Hutchison insists that his salsa have the ideal texture, not too chunky or watered down. Armed with his new-found affinity for roasted New Mexico greens, he began tinkering with salsa recipes and the results landed him a third place award at the Southwest Salsa Challenge in 2006.

Hutchison's salsa recipe is pretty simple.

​This is why his small batch salsa is so delicious.

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Cheri Biggs