This is a reading comprehension exercise for children. It is written by Susan Fineman, a reading specialist in the New Haven, Conn., school district.
Plenty of states have an official bird or an official flower, but an official question?
"Red or Green?" has become New Mexico's official state question.
The query, estimated to be uttered between 175,000 to 200,000 times a day in New Mexico, does not refer to the status of a traffic light. It's the kind of chili pepper restaurant customers desire on their New Mexico cuisine.
"It's all part of tourism. It's all part of the allure of coming to New Mexico. We think we have the best chili in the world," said Richard Buratti, executive vice president of the New Mexico Restaurant Association.
Buratti said chili is part of at least 25 percent of the meals prepared at New Mexico restaurants. It's found on everything from eggs ranchero at breakfast and burritos at dinner. But with two kinds of chili, servers need to know which to use.
Chili is grown in New Mexico and is one of its major crops, valued at $58 million last year. It is also one of two official state vegetables, the other being the pinto bean.
In another designation that too effect recently, the state is now officially known as "The Land of Enchantment."
In the 1930s, New Mexico's unofficial nickname was the "Sunshine State." But Florida adopted it.
The New Mexico tourism industry has used "The Land of Enchantment" moniker for years but putting it into law should dissuade other states from stealing it, supporters said.
True or False?
1. The two official state vegetables of New Mexico are the chili and pinto beans.
2. Last year, New Mexico sold 58 million chili peppers.
3. Restaurant Association executive Richard Buratti claims his state grows the world's best peppers.
4. About one in every four dishes offered in New Mexico restaurants is made with chili.
5. As many as 200,000 times a day, servers ask restaurant customers whether they prefer red or green pepper.
6. Some Santa Fe lawmakers think that "Red or Green?" refers to the color of traffic lights.
7. Mexican burros are often fed eggs made with chili.
8. In the 1930s, New Mexico was known as "The Land of Enchantment."
9. The tourist industry wants to change the state's moniker (nickname) to the "Sunshine State."
10. New Mexico is probably the only state to have an official question.
1. True, 2. False, 3. True 4. True, 5. True, 6. False, 7. False, 8. False, 9. False, 10. True.