I really like that show “Good Eats”. I think the host is Alton Brown. Its fun, informative, and visually delicious. He’s like the Bill Nye of the food channel. Recently he did a facinating show on Chile(s) in all its wonderous varieties. Having grown up in Albuquerque, NM (State motto: Red or Green?) I am a huge fan of both red and green chile and import it yearly to my new home in the mid-west.
However, I had a HUGE problem with one of his “facts”. He was showing and naming many kinds of peppers. He was showing that certain types of well known peppers are just dried (or smoked) versions of other peppers. Like chipotle. The problem I have is that he said that drying anaheim peppers, yields New Mexico Red Chile. Not true. Only if the peppers you used were New Mexican green chile. Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in New Mexico can tell you, the “anaheim” peppers you get in grocery stores around the country are NOT the same as Green Chile you get back home. And the “red chile” is definately not the same either.
I’m sure that Alton Brown would concede that the flavor of coffee and wine varies widely depending on where the grapes and beans were grown. The flavors and characteristics of those beans and grapes are affected by the soil, climate, and even the genetics of the strain of that plant being grown in that region for god knows how long. Calling any generic chile “new mexican” because its so similiar is akin to calling coffee grown in mexico “Kona Coffee”. Its inaccurate (to put is politely) and somewhat offensive to a purist.