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Monday, 15th November 2010

Resource of the Week:  The Chile Pepper Institute

Resource of the Week:  The Chile Pepper Institute
By Shirl Kennedy, Senior Editor

I did not realize that the chile pepper was New Mexico's state vegetable, but...of course it is.  I happened upon The Chile Pepper Institute website at the Day Job, while helping a food writer.  The bricks-and-mortar institute is located at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

The Chile Pepper Institute (CPI) is a research-based, international nonprofit organization devoted to education, research, and archiving information related to Capsicum. We are dedicated to educating the world about the wonders of chile peppers.

For research purposes, you'll want to click on the Chile Information link. You'll find some statistics on acreage, cash receipts, etc. (alas, 2005/2006 vintage) and a quite extensive library of guides and circulars, including

You can find a lot more chile-related information by heading over to the NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences publications page. Just type the word "chile" into the search box there.

An online store offers seeds, chile-related books, and assorted merchandise -- t-shirts, mugs, posters...and Holy Jolokia Hot Sauce and salsa, made from the "hottest pepper in the world." (A portion of the sales proceeds will go towards new facilities for the Institute, among other things.) Read about it in this journal article: ‘Bhut Jolokia’—The World’s Hottest Known Chile Pepper is a Putative Naturally Occurring Interspecific Hybrid. (PDF)


More chile resources:

+ The Cook's Thesaurus
Fresh Chile Peppers

+ University of California, Agricultural and Natural Resources
Chile Pepper Production in California (PDF)

+ Colorado State University Extension
Processing Chile Peppers (PDF)

+ U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service
US Bell & Chile Pepper Statistics

+ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Vegetable of the Month: Chili Peppers


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