‘New Mexico Big Jim’ was developed by Dr. R. Nakayama at New Mexico State University and released in 1975. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the producer of the largest chile pepper pod ever grown, with chilies in excess of 12 inches. This chile has been very popular because of its large fruit size and is a favorite for making “chile rellenos,” a stuffed chile pepper. Unfortunately, ‘New Mexico Big Jim’ lost its true identity over time.
The ‘NuMex Heritage Big Jim’ has now come along and improved what was lost over time. These Heritage pods continue to be large with an average of 8.5 inches with many up to 12+ inches (and some more). The heat level has been stabilized and does not vary like the original New Mexico Big Jim and is considered a Hot chile.
The ‘NuMex Heritage Big Jim’ has 5 times the flavor compounds than the current green chile cultivar being grown for commercial production. See the ‘NuMex Heritage 6-4 for more on this.
With these varieties, Dr. Bosland has set a high priority replacing poor flavored cultivars with good flavored cultivars from among those that already exist and/or by selecting new cultivars with superior flavor and good textural quality.
Information provided by the Chile Pepper Institute (www.chilepepperinstitute.org)