What’s That Smell? New Mexico Has an Official State Aroma
In a legislative first, the Land of Enchantment has committed to an earth-bound scent.
On March 23, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill establishing the “smell of roasting chiles” as the official state aroma. It’s the first such designation by any state.
Another “first” today! We are the first state in the nation to have an official state aroma. Here in NM, it’s a no-brainer! Thanks to the hard work of Sen. Bill Soules and fifth graders from Monte Vista Elementary, roasting green chile is now our official state aroma! pic.twitter.com/FusRNjn7gA— Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (@GovMLG) March 28, 2023
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the scent was suggested by students during a school visit by the bill’s sponsor, Sen. William Soules of Las Cruces. The chile is already a state vegetable in New Mexico, a status it shares with the pinto bean.
This celebrity doesn’t come out of thin air. New Mexico produces more than two-thirds of America’s chile pepper crop. The village of Hatch, N.M., known as “the chile capital of the world,” hosts an annual chile festival on Labor Day weekend.
“There has been no one opposing,” Sen. Soules told NPR as the bill made it through the Legislature. “Often before I even tell them what we're thinking about for the official aroma, they go, oh, it's got to be chile roasting, right?”
Is this the whiff of a legislative trend?