Campus News - December 3, 2001

New Mexico cooking exhibit offers a pinch of this, that

Currently featured at the Center for Southwest Research Exhibit Gallery in Zimmerman Library, is an exhibit about chile and New Mexico cooking.  Like grandma’s chile recipe, the show is a pinch of this and a pinch of that resulting in “a little learning and a little fun,” says organizer Nancy Brown.

Included are segments on the pre-European origins of chile and foods of Native Americans in the Southwest.  One area highlights early cookbooks written by New Mexico Hispanas preserving their culture and recipes, while another shows how New Mexico State University researchers Fabian Garcia and Ray Nakayama crossbred tiny chiles into the tasty foot-long pods we savor today.  Photos from the Farms Security Administration and stories from the WPA-Federal Writers Project show food ways and folk life in New Mexico during the 1930s and 1940s.

Along the way, fascinating sidebars about the history of the Baca family and Bueno Foods, the New Mexico-Texas Chile Wars, the anatomy of a chile, and how to tie a chile ristra spice up a visit to the gallery.  Most popular are the chile trivia game and a recipe exchange board.

Also showing, Mary Alice Tsosie, American Indian Collections, CSWR, has mounted a small exhibit in the west wing of Zimmerman Library, “Winter Time Is Story Telling Time.”  The exhibit displays different winter and storytelling aspects among the Pueblo and Navajo Indians.

The University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
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