So, what is it? The fleshy pepper, five or six inches in length, has been cultivated throughout New Mexico for quite a long time. Native peoples there still grow some of the older heirloom varieties, and there are tried and true newer regional varieties planted all over the state. But when we say “green chile,” as in “can I have a side of green chile with that,” we are referring to green New Mexico chiles that have been fire-roasted, peeled, chopped, and made into a sauce—not just a dish of sliced jalapeños. Though mild green chile is available, the usual kind is pretty darned spicy. Restaurant menus have the disclaimer “our chile is hot!” to forewarn tourists. Locals just expect it that way.