Here are today’s five thing to know about chili:
- According to What’s Cooking America, the first recorded batch of chili con carne in America was made in 1731 by a group of women who had emigrated from the Spanish Canary Islands, which historians noted not as “chili” but as a “spicy Spanish stew.”
- The International Chili Society says that chili was popularized during the Gold Rush of the mid-1800s. Cowboys and prospectors combined dried beef, fat, pepper, salt and chili peppers together into stackable rectangles or “chili bricks” that were then dumped into boiling water.
- A number of variations of chili have become popularized over the years. Texas-style chili doesn’t contain beans; vegetarian chili (aka chili sin carne) typically replaces meat with corn and other vegetables; chili verde uses pork, tomatillos and green chili peppers in lieu of beef and tomatoes; and white chili uses white beans and chicken or turkey.
- U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson was a big chili lover.
- In 1977, chili manufacturers in the state of Texas successfully lobbied the state legislature to have chili proclaimed the official “state food” of Texas “in recognition of the fact that the only real ‘bowl of red’ is that prepared by Texans.”