The spiciness of chile peppers (Capsicum) is attributed to their active component, capsaicin, and related capsaicinoids.
Chile peppers produce capsaicinoids as secondary metabolites (organic compounds not involved in growth, development, etc.), probably as deterrent against certain mammals and fungi.
the look of capsaicin in 3D: Ben Mills (Benjah-bmm27), Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Capsaicin-3D-vdW.png
Chile peppers enjoy an ancient botanical history, prior to appearance in New Mexico, as colorful as their indubitably revitalizing tastes.
Landscape of the xeric Tehuacán Valley matorral ecoregion in Puebla state, one of Mexican regions credited with chile peppers as domesticated crop.
Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve, near San Antonio Texcala, Puebla state, Central México: Luistlatoani, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paisaje_en_Texcala,_Puebla,_México.JPG
In "How Chile Came to New Mexico," Sage's gift of a turquoise necklace serves successfully as good luck charm for Young Eagle in his quest for chile pepper seeds.
Ancestral Puebloan (Anasazi) turquoise and argillite (orange) inlay pieces, circa 1020-1140 CE.
Pueblo Alto, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, northwest New Mexico: National Park Service Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons @ http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chacoan_turquoise_with_argillite.jpg
"How Chile Came to New Mexico" is set in the enchanting landscape of a Rio Grande Pueblo community.
Rio Grande crosses Colorado-New Mexico border to flow through central New Mexico and hug west Texas-northeastern Mexico border before emptying into Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville, at southernmost tip of Texas.
Route 64 Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, north central New Mexico: Daniel Schwen (DSchwen), CC BY SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rio_Grande_Gorge_Bridge.jpg