TUCSON, AZ (ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV) - About 40 miles south of Tucson, in the small community of Tumacacori, sits the world famous Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Company.
Walk into the old store, and your nose will tell you, you're not in Kansas anymore.
Because they don't have spices and chilis like this in the land of Dorothy and Toto.
You get used to it after a while.
A visit to the back of the store where the chili is packaged is the reason why.
The chili powder is called Anaheim chili powder, and what they do is try to pick it out when it's really fresh. The more orange it is, the hotter it gets.
The ladies at the Santa Cruz Chili Company are to chili what sommeliers are to wine, and they take their jobs very seriously.
At Santa Cruz Chili, they have all different kind of chilis including brown habanero, chili pequin, brown chipotle powder, chili Chimayo, green chili powder, brown chile de arbol, pico de gallo, chiltepin, and guajillo powder.
In fact, the Santa Cruz Chili Company has well over 100 kinds of chilis and spices to choose from. You can buy hot stuff from the orient to the Middle East, to Mexico and the U.S.
The ladies of the Santa Cruz Chili Company really believe that variety is the spice of life, and is the gateway towards good health, because "a chili a day keeps the doctor away."
Arizona Highways Television is brought to you by Arizona Public Service (APS) and the Arizona Office of Tourism.