Poem: Quemoso Pero Sabroso


Why is New Mexico the best state in the nation?  Because we have an official bilingual poem and its about….food.

¡Bien venidos amigos, “Mí casa es su casa!”
Come savor our delicious salsa!
As the enchanting drama of Aztecan chiltepin, I unfold,
Indigenous to Aztec emperors of old.

Nuevo Mexico, “Tierra Encantada,”
Aquí, “Comida sin chile no es comida.”
Precious gift from the Espejo and Oñate expeditions,
“Quemoso pero Sabroso,” a chile Nuevo Mexico tradition!

500 thirsty men, women, children, Spanish pioneers all,
Blazed 1,800 deadly miles of El Camino Real.
7,000 cattle, and 80 covered wagons for daily needs,
Among them, apple and the cherished chile seeds.

Fabian García, “founder of U.S. Mexican food,”
Your genius of chile, now well understood.
Your research showered upon our chile, fame,
Profound glory shines upon your name!

Chile, Nuevo Mexico’s beloved, spicy fruit staple,
Fresh tortillas and a chile pot grace every table.
In early Autumn, along with corn,
Our tables, red and green chile do adorn.

Their alluring, fresh aroma fills the air,
Green chile pods roast everywhere.
Chile lovers eat your hearts out,
Here chile is king without a doubt!

Ah, Chimayo chile is so delicious to eat!
That cure-all food is a special treat,
So fiery good, it makes us sweat,
A runny nose is more proof yet.

A hot bite and you’re chile afflicted,
Another bite and you’re chile addicted!
¡Caramba! it’s hot, turistas say,
They beg for more when out our way.

New Mexican farmers sweat and toil.
In unique ways, they till the soil.
As they sowed the seeds, they said,
“We love it real hot, both green and red!”

Aquí los rancheros no descansan,
Con el sol se levantan,
En la huerta de chile adelantan,
Ahí matanza, mucha fiesta, y celebran.

Otoño is the season for La Cosecha,
Chile pickers gather all chile from la huerta.
“¿Quiere comprar chile?” call vendors to all,
That resonates throughout the Fall.

Papá has prepared the adove horno,
Piñon cedar fires crackle and glow.
Intense hot coals green chile roast.
“To the years’ harvest, a hearty toast!”

Chile, abundantly stacked high by the wall,
Mamá and vecinas patiently peel it all.
Working and laughing, a most joyous delight,
As the fire dwindles low into the night.

The colorful red ristras that Autumn’s beauty prolong,
Provide Mexican food all year long.
Adove casitas draped in red colors rare,
Say “Thanks, Mother Earth, you’ve done your share!”

“Panza llena, Corazón contento,”
Eso siento, muy adentro.
¡Viva la fiesta, Matachines y Mariachis, que tal!
Gracias, Mil gracias for our beloved chile natal.

-Alberto Onaldo Martinez


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