It’s Hot, so Why Is It Called Chili?
Fall is a beautiful time of year. The colors outside are very pretty. An idication that it's time to move some outside stuff in and get some long sleeves out.
As the season changes, so do our eating habits. I haven't made a pot of chili for several months. I'm getting in the mood for some with cooler temperatures.
So if this is hot food, why is it called chili? I little boy asked me that when I was doing a live radio show one day, and I was stumped trying to answer that. So I did some research.
No, it wasn't created in the country of Chile. It's even spelled the same when you consider the i's and e's.
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You probably assumed it came from Mexico, because it's kind of a Mexican type food. No, it didn't come from there either.
The credit goes to the state of Texas. To narrow it down farther, it first was served near San Antonio in the early 1800,s.
It all started with people living out on the range with more mouths to feed than they had meat for. So to make it stretch, they had to mix other things with the little meat they had. Things that were available growing in the wild, such as chili peppers and onions.
The concoction consisted of more chili peppers than anything. Hence the name of the dish.
We don't know the name of the first person to ever make chili, but we do know that the second person to make it, is the one who started the war of "who makes the best chili".
In the 1880s, a market in San Antonio started setting up chili stands from which chili or bowls o'red, as it was called, were sold by women who were called "chili queens."
In 1886 it was sold at a stand at the The World's Fair in Chicago. By the early 1900's, there were chili joints everywhere.