Southwestern cuisine is food styled after the rustic cooking of the region. It comprises a fusion of recipes for things that might have been eaten by Spanish colonial settlers, cowboys, Native Americans, and Mexicans throughout the post-Columbian era.
Southwestern cuisine is similar to Mexican cuisine but often involves larger cuts of meat, namely pork and beef, and less use of tripe, brain, and other parts not considered as desirable in the United States. As with Mexican cuisine, Southwestern cuisine is also largely known for its use of spices (particularly the chile, or Chili pepper). Recently, several chains of casual dining restaurants specializing in Southwestern cuisine have become popular in the United States.
New Mexican cuisine is known for its dedication to the chile (the official "state question" is "Red or green?" which refers to the preferred color of chiles), most notably the Hatch chile, named for the city in New Mexico where they are grown.