NATIONAL CHILI DAY!!!

Chili
Photo by: Anna Hattauer

Most historians agree that the earliest written description of chili came from J.C. Clopper, who lived near Houston. While his description never mentions the word chili this is what he wrote of his visit to San Antonio in 1828:  “When they [poor families of San Antonio] have to lay for their meat in the market, a very little is made to suffice for the family; it is generally cut into a kind of hash with nearly as many peppers as there are pieces of meat–this is all stewed together.”

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.” A bowl o’red cost diners such as writer O. Henry and democratic presidential hopeful William Jennings Bryan ten cents and included bread and a glass of water. The fame of chili con carne began to spread and the dish soon became a major tourist attraction. It was featured at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893 at the San Antonio Chili Stand.

By the 20th century chili joints had made their debut in Texas and became familiar all over the west by the roaring ‘20s. In fact, by the end of that decade, there was hardly a town that didn’t have a chili parlour, which were often no more than a shed or a room with a counter and some stools. It’s been said that chili joints meant the difference between starvation and staying alive during the Great Depression since chili was cheap and crackers were free.

Published by Culinary Chick

My name is Anna Hattauer and I love to cook. I am a personal chef living in Maryland. I grew up in California, joined the United States Army right after high school, got married, raised three children while going to college and working full time. As a young military wife and mother, we didn't have the money to go out to eat on a regular basis and had to make each pay check stretch. I learned how to prepare meals that were delicious, while staying within budget. While working full-time in the corporate world with the usual 2-3 hour I-270 commute, coupled with school & sports events, scouts and taking care of three children, it was tough to find the time or the energy to come home and prepare healthy meals for my family. Being a military family, we have traveled to many places around the world. I love trying new foods, the challenge of cooking new recipes and having friends over for dinner as well as cooking for special events. After cooking for my friends and family for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to share my love of food and make people happy, so I dropped the corporate chaos and attended a formal culinary school and became a certified personal chef. I am a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and I am licensed, insured and ServSafe certified.

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