“Red or Green?”

In 1996 the New Mexico State Legislature passed a House Joint Memorial declaring “Red or Green?” as the official state question.  This refers to the question always asked whether one prefers red or green chile when ordering New Mexican cuisine.  This measure was passed to signify the importance that the chile industry has on the economy of the state.  New Mexico produced 99,000 tons of chile in 2000, valued at nearly 49 million dollars, the number one cash crop in terms of sales in the state.  With the adoption of this state question, New Mexico is acknowledging the financial gain and national recognition that chile generates for the state.