How to Piss Off a New Mexican
There are a few guaranteed ways to get a New Mexican’s temper to rise as hot as their chile, and these top the list.
Claim green chile as your own.
Nothing has united New Mexico so fully in one cause as much as the Colorado-trying-to-steal-our-claim-to-green-chile scandal. Green chile is the state vegetable of New Mexico. It is actually called New Mexican green chile. New Mexico has a state question, “Red or green?” and that question is referring to your chile preference. And you think you might be able to say it doesn’t belong to us? Nice try. We have little else as our claim to fame, so we’ll fight for this one to the death.
Spell ‘chile’ wrong.
There is chili and then there is chile. Chili is that spicy(ish) mixture of meat and beans that goes great with cornbread. Chile is the delectable plant that defines New Mexican cuisine, and also happens to be the largest agricultural crop in the state. Confuse them and you’ll be sure to make a New Mexican twitch (and probably correct you).
Assume we’re not American.
New Mexico does happen to be one of the fifty states of America. Take a look at a map and try and pretend to be a bit more educated, please.
Say, “You’re from New Mexico? Your English is really good!”
See above. Just no.
Buy Chipotle or Taco Bell.
If you’re in New Mexico, for the love of God, don’t eat this crap. You can get indigestion from these any day of the week in any other place in the country. Seriously, eat a freakin’ smothered burrito from a local joint while you’re here, will you? I could give you a hundred recommendations.
Refuse to try our green chile.
from Tia Sofia's via Yelp
As you may have guessed by now, New Mexicans take their chile quite seriously. If you’re visiting the state, or have a New Mexican friend who wants to cook you one of their favorite meals from home, don’t be that person who just “doesn’t really like spicy food.” We’re not trying to shove it down your throat, we just want you to taste what goodness we enjoy every day.
Assume it’s all just like Phoenix here.
A lot of people seem to believe that all of New Mexico is some vast, brown, blistering desert (no offense, Phoenix.) But actually, the terrain varies greatly from one end of the state to another. Yes, there are areas of desert, but there are also millions of acres’ worth of national forests, and, being at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, much of the northern half of the state happens to be mountainous. Don’t underestimate our geographic diversity.
Act like you know what it’s all about here because you’ve seen Breaking Bad.
No, I don’t know anyone who cooks meth. No, I've never seen a meth lab. And no, not all of my friends are just like Jesse Pinkman.
Assume we’re all from Albuquerque or Santa Fe.
I realize this happens with a lot of states. The biggest cities get all the love. But there are other cities with their own populations, and they deserve some awareness, too.
Ask us to say something in Spanish,
or one of the 8 Native American languages in the state, for that matter. Nobody likes feeling like an animal on exhibit. Just because someone is from New Mexico, and even if they can speak the language, does not mean you can just command them to say some meaningless phrase in that language for your entertainment.