Home New mexico state Salsas and cheeseburgers go head-to-head at the New Mexico State Fair

Salsas and cheeseburgers go head-to-head at the New Mexico State Fair

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ALBUQUERQUE — Everyone knows New Mexico is the place to enjoy a green chili cheeseburger and salsa, but who does the best? You’ll have to attend the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge and Battle of the Salsas at the New Mexico State Fair to find out.

The 2022 Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge will take place at noon on Monday, September 12 in the courtyard of the Agriculture Building. This contest has seen stiff competition in recent years, bringing together New Mexico’s most renowned restaurants for a chance to win.

Contestants prepare their burgers live before the mouth-watering goodness is passed on to the judges. The panel of judges will be made up of personalities from New Mexico to determine the champion of this variation of an American classic.

Fairgoers will also have the chance to taste the traditional competition. Fairgoers are invited to attend the event before they can taste and rank the competitors themselves. Only a limited number can participate and are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. After judging is complete, the Judge’s Choice winners and the People’s Choice winner are crowned.

Capitan’s Oso’s Grill won big last year winning Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards. Brian Cleckler, owner and chef of Oso’s Grill, said the contest has done amazing things for the business.

“It’s great competition for New Mexico because it creates a huge draw for New Mexico products and shows off the many flavors found in our state, Cleckler said. “People from all over the United States have been coming and wanting to try our burgers since the competition, it’s done great things for the company.”

New Mexico Agriculture Secretary Jeff Witte said it’s a great way to celebrate the unique foods found in the state.

“The green chile cheeseburger is an iconic New Mexico food,” Witte said. “The New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge at the New Mexico State Fair is a fantastic contest that brings the community together to celebrate and taste some of the best food in the state. Using local New Mexico farm produce to prepare one of our favorite foods is a great way to celebrate New Mexico’s agricultural industry.

However, the Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge isn’t the only thing that brings spice to the fairgrounds. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture announces the return of the spiciest competition at the New Mexico State Fair, the Battle of Salsas. Be careful, it’s a battle of taste buds and will crown the best salsa in the Land of Enchantments.

The Battle of the Salsas will take place on Saturday, September 10 in the courtyard of the agriculture building.  Each judge will receive individually wrapped salsa samples, a bag of tortilla chips and a ballot.  Once the judges have tried all the salsas, voted and submitted their ballots, the result will be tallied and the top three winners will be announced as the most enchanting salsas in the country.

The battle will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, also in the courtyard of the agriculture building. The first 150 people present will serve as judges. Each judge will receive individually wrapped salsa samples, a bag of tortilla chips and a ballot. Once the judges have tried all the salsas, voted and submitted their ballots, the result will be tallied and the top three winners will be announced as the most enchanting salsas in the country.

The winner of last year’s Battle of the Salsas was The Bossy Gourmet with their Hatch Green Chile Salsa. Since winning Battle of the Salsas, Lenny Pelifian, CEO of The Bossy Gourmet, said business has been booming for the company.

“The win opened up a lot of possibilities for us, even in other states,” Pelifian said. “Our business is up 45% since the win, everything just took off from the competition. This contest is great because people get to sample New Mexico produce from all over the state.

This contest has become a long-standing tradition at the fair and is a great way to showcase one of New Mexico’s signature foods through friendly and spicy competition.

“Battle of the Salsas is a great way to experience the bright flavors of New Mexico,” Witte said. “It’s an even better way to support New Mexico produce and New Mexico agriculture.”

For more information on the mouth-watering Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge or Battle of the Salsas, please visit the New Mexico State Fair website or contact the NMDA Marketing and Development Division at 575-646-4929.