Friday, October 22, 2010

Even with Lipstick, a Pig is Still a Pig

A good chile should have an intense pleasant aroma and taste separate from the “heat”.  It should be naturally sweet and flavorful first then a smack in the lips and pallet with a degree of heat characteristic of the particular chile variety- not added chemicals.

Chiles are grown not only to market fresh, wet processed, or dried but also to extract natural capsaicin.  The capsaicin is used in everything from pepper spray, to hot sauces, to bird food (keeps the squirrels out and the birds can’t taste it).  Capsaicinoids are attributed to many medical benefits and it’s common for people to experience pleasurable and even euphoric effects from eating capsaicin-flavored foods. 

Unfortunately, sometimes it is also added in the processing of otherwise bland chiles in an attempt to “hop them up a bit”.  Anyone who has ever done a side by side taste comparison between a natural New Mexico chile and one of these products will tell you it doesn’t work.  All they get is a bland chile that burns your mouth.

We are fortunate to be involved with growers and producers of New Mexico chile whose products are naturally flavorful first and the heat level depends solely on the chile variety selected and not chemical additions.

Red chiles are also used to extract the red oils which are used as food coloring and in things like lipstick.

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