Tonight, Frank made some amazing chili and cornbread and we enjoyed every bite, while watching football.  At some point in our meal, however, we began to wonder why it’s called chili when it’s not chilly at all, but hot.


Come to find out, chili has nothing to do with the temperature, but the language of origin and the ingredients used.  The first chili recipe was recorded in 1850 by Texan adventurers and cowboys during the California gold rush.  It quickly became a staple among the men because not only was it a hearty meal, but it was quick, easy, and cheap to make.  Chili was usually concocted with dried beef, pepper, salt, beans, and chili peppers — the ingredient that gave the meal its name.

And really, the peppers were called Chile peppers, since that’s the country the peppers were first discovered and cultivated.  The Spanish heritage took this into their own language, translating it to chili.

Since the first recorded recipe, chili has been reinvented to include different spices and ingredients, changing basic things like beef to chicken, chili peppers to jalapeno peppers, and tomato sauce to chicken broth and heavy whipping cream.

Whatever recipe and kind of chili you like to use, the fact remains that it’s a meal that’s great to eat regardless of the weather.  So, the next time you eat chili with your family and friends, you can now share the history of chili and its name.

Try it out!

Here’s our favorite chili recipe: Beef and Bacon Chili.  Ask your parents if you can have it for dinner one night and let us know what you think!

Thanks for reading and remember to always wonder!

<3 The Wonder Family Nixon

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