Made In New Mexico

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1) Santa Fe Springs makes sparkling water in several different flavors but we think Mexican lime is the most “natural” tasting. It's simply spring water with a dash of lime essence and a healthy dose of carbonation. No sugar, salt or anything else to confuse the flavor. We love it over ice or mixed half and half with cold cranberry or orange juice ($1-$2 at grocery stores everywhere).

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2) Non-native New Mexicans may complain that we have a tendency to put chile in everything but isn't most everything better with a little chile? Flo's Spicy Apple Butter certainly is. We like to use the hot apple butter in PB&Js or heated and spooned over grilled pork chops (about $4.50 at Raley's, Albertson's and Lowe's).

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3) Art Sandoval makes nearly two dozen flavors of beef jerky from chipotle to teriyaki but it's his simple salt and pepper-flavored beef that makes us cuckoo for carne seca ($6 per quarter-pound at his shop at San Pedro and Constitution or $2 per one-ounce package at 7-Eleven and Walgreens).

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4) Don't worry, it won't be long until the chile harvest comes in and they're roasting green chiles by the ton on every street corner. Until then you can get your fresh-roasted fix with Bueno's Autumn Roast, frozen green chile that actually tastes pretty close to freshly roasted. It's the best frozen chile we've tried (about $2.50 at grocery stores everywhere).

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