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Las Cruces state senator wants to make green chile roasting state’s official aroma


The smell of roasting green chile.

Just hold that thought in your mind for a moment.

Is there a more welcome scent of fall in the air, or anything more uniquely New Mexico?

That is why New Mexico state Sen. Bill Soules, a Las Cruces Democrat, wants the state legislature to recognize the smell of roasting green chile as the state’s official aroma.

Soules is working with fifth graders at Monte Vista Elementary School in Las Cruces on the project and plans to invite them to “be my experts” and come to Santa Fe during the 2023 session of the New Mexico Legislature to lobby state senators and representatives and the governor on behalf of making New Mexico the first state with an official aroma.

“I think this will be a fun one,” Soules said.

It will also support New Mexico agriculture and tourism, he said.

“The aroma of New Mexico green chile being roasted is unmistakable and is recognized throughout the nation,” said New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) Sec. Jeff Witte, who is based at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. “The distinctive scent of roasting green chile in the air is unique to our state, and it brings that feeling of ‘home’ to people who have moved away from New Mexico.”

“As part of our domestic marketing efforts, NMDA staff “goes around the country teaching grocery store staff how to roast New Mexico chile,” said NMDA Director of Public Affairs Kristie Garcia. “Then the retail chains purchase New Mexico chile (have it shipped), and they roast it outside their stores, just like in New Mexico. That is how many people who have moved out of New Mexico can still enjoy the roasting aroma and purchase New Mexico chile,” Garcia said.

For more information, visit www.elevatenmag.com/get-your-fix.