Red or Green? New Mexico Chile for the Trail


No doubt you've seen tiny salt-and-pepper shakers in sporting goods stores, and you may even own one. Trouble is, they're not that useful. Most backpacking food has lots of salt to begin with, and black pepper isn't that spicy unless it's freshly ground.  Here's a much better way to use that shaker! It's based on the New Mexico State Question, "Red or Green?" If you're from here, you know that there's a third correct answer, "Christmas."


My shaker is loaded with two types of Los Chileros chile. The red is their chile chipotle powder, since the flavor is more complex than standard red powder. The green is their green chile molido, but you can go with their jalapeño powder if you prefer. If want a little kick in your dried meal or on your sandwich, turn the shaker top and sprinkle away. Or turn the top so you're getting both red and green—that's what people want when they ask for "Christmas." 


You can't use the shaker as the main seasoning for an entire meal; it doesn't hold enough for that. But if you carry the shaker on your hikes, you can have a New Mexico chile fix whenever you want. And if you live in Hoboken, don't despair : you can buy Los Chileros products on Amazon. The shaker weighs about an ounce (30 grams) and the chile powder is almost weightless. Happy trails and happy eating!