Don't know about pistachios at the Santa Fe market. I would recommend jars of red or green chili. Usually comes in different strengths from mild to extra hot. Again, I don't know if the vendors at the market handle these items. You might be better off in some of the shops in either Santa Fe or Albuquerque that carry New Mexico products. I know the Coronado Mall in Albuquerque has a Chili shop, and has a good selection of items.
My first recommendation would normally be a couple jars of chile salsa (505 is my favorite local brand), but for those flying in and out, there may be a problem with the new security rules, since these are liquids. I would ask your airline, or security people at your nearest commercial airport.
"Assuming," that you may not be able to take bottles of salsa on your airplane, my next suggestion would be to visit the JACKALOPE stores nearest you...there are stores in Albuquerque, Bernalillo, and Santa Fe, as they have hundreds of NM products. They carry some Southwestern soup or stew mixes (dry) that are quite good for instance.
New Mexico has some great "nut" farms, including pistachios. All of Southwest Airlines peanuts come from farms around Las Cruces in the Southern part of the state for instance. An "nut" assortment would also be a good souvenir, or gift. A small, decorative, chile ristra of strung red chiles also makes a good NM item, and they fold flat in your suitcase.
Salsa is liquid and that's a no no for carry on. I do bring salsa to my co-workers in Boston a couple of times a year. I package it in advance and mail it, using FedEx ground seems to be about the cheapest. The other option is to put it in my luggage but I have nightmares about it breaking and then I'd spend all week smelling like green chile. There are worse smells, I suppose.
I also like to bring back biscochittos, sopaipilla mix and spices...I bring back the packaged stuff I find at the grocery store. Most all supermarkets in ABQ and SF will have a "Hispanic" aisle that should meet your needs.
What retailers carry 505 chile products? I LOVE green chile sauce and would like to take some home with me. We're spending time in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. We're driving, so the carryon thing is not an issue.
Speaking of flying with liquids...as a veteran of many trips (flights) to Napa and Sonoma, we typically pack 3 or 4 beach towels in our luggage, and are able to bring home about half a dozen bottles of our favorite wines in our checked luggage. Yes, there's a chance that one could break, but it hasn't happened in, oh say, about 5 trips now (approximately 2 1/2 cases of wine;-) DD also was able to bring home some nice bath products from MYC last summer using the same packing method.
Oh, and I forgot to post my question "what is the difference between green chile salsa and green chile sauce"?
I remember ordering a couple of jars of "green chile" at a restaurant during our last visit, and when I saw what I would call "salsa" I declined to purchase it. I can buy the salsa here in NOLA, but the SAUCE is what I crave when I return home ;-)
The local salsas are good, I'm addicted to Flame Thrower Medium myself. The sauce is usually green chile, some seasonings, maybe garlic, and that's about it. I use the sauce to make enchiladas and to throw in the crock pot with a nice little pork roast. For that I like Chile Addicts medium.
One of the best places to get a good variety and at a cheaper price than the specialty food stores is at the Smith's Supermarket on 4th Street between Montano and Osuna.
I would get some red chile powder, various temps! Also there are dried soup mixes. Check at most of the grocery stores in the area, Smith's, Albertsons, Whole Foods should all have selections of NM products.
You can get 505 Salsa at most grocery stores as well.
Ahhh... foodies in New Mexico...many thanks for the quick responses! The food is one of the things that we look forward to during our trips to your part of the country.
I will definitely print out this topic for summer reference. I shop at Whole Foods here a lot, but also love a good bargain, so definitely appreciate the list of "local" grocers.
And it sounds like, if I want to take home some good green chile SAUCE, then I should probably ask for a go-cup of same (or find a good cookbook/recipe).
Oh thank you so much - I can't wait to eat when I come out here.
I plan on checking my bag just for the purpose of being able to bring home some goodies, including some local wine too. I always put some bubble wrap, big baggies, and a couple towels in my luggage also just for this purpose.
I'll never forget waiting anxiously to see if the wine I packed in France made it back in one piece - it did - CHEERS!
I didn't know about nuts being from NM - how cool will have to look for more than just pistachios - this one farm is listed as a vendor at the farmer's market and that's why I mentioned it.
Thanks againl. So looking forward to our trip.
Hope the winds are calm while we are there so we can go up the tram.
Don't forget the New Mexico pinon coffee!