World's longest chile ristra

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - September 16, 2008

Now they hope Londoners appreciate the chiles as much as they do.

In five hours and 45 minutes Sunday, the participants used a whopping 3,250 pounds of red chile pods to create a ristra spanning 157.7 feet, said New Mexico Department of Agriculture spokesman Doug Rains.

The New Mexico Chile Commission and the Agricultural Department followed Guinness World Record guidelines in creating the ristra and will submit their documentation to Guinness headquarters in London for record consideration. Rains said he did not know how long it would take for Guinness to respond.

"God only knows. When you're dealing with people in London that don't have a clue what a ristra is, it's an uphill battle," Rains said with a laugh.

A ristra is the traditional method for drying red chile peppers. The pods are tied with string in an overlapping design and hung to dry before being used in sauces and dishes.

Guinness doesn't have a category for a chile ristra, but state agriculture and chile commission officials are asking Guinness to establish one.

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