October brings with it cooler days … well, usually anyway. And that creates a desire for warm, comforting foods. Like soups and stews.
Lucky us—October is also National Chili Month!
Who created this entire month devoted to the hearty goodness that is chili? No clue.
It was probably someone who loves chili and all things fall.
We do have another chili celebration—National Chili Day happens every February 25—but is one day enough to properly celebrate? No! So we heartily endorse National Chili Month, no matter who created it or why.
Did you know? …
Chili is the state food of Texas. The Texas legislature named it the state food in 1977 because “…the only real ‘bowl of red’ is that prepared by Texans.”
President Lyndon B. Johnson apparently agreed. He loved chili. But only Texas chili. According to him, “Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing.”
The first written chili con carne recipe may be from the 17th century. Legend has it that Sister Mary of Agreda Spain—who never left Spain, much less came to America—wrote down the recipe for Native Americans in the Southwest during an out-of-body experience.
Today many firehouses around the country enjoy chili cook-offs. Often as fundraisers. The first chili cook-off was less noble, but probably just as delicious. The 1967 contest happened in (not surprisingly) Texas. Terlinga, Texas to be exact. First place was a tie between a native Texan and a New Yorker.
Green chili peppers have been growing in the New Mexico area of the US for more than 400 years.
Scroll down for some ideas on celebrating this hearty, unofficial holiday
This goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway): Eat chili!
Use your favorite recipe, of course. But you’ll want to make chili more than once this month. So try at least one new recipe.
There’s dozens to choose from: chili without beans, chili without meat, chili with pork, chili with chicken. Chili with tomatillos instead of tomatoes. Chili with several different beans. You get the picture.
See if one of these recipes look tasty to you:
Consider throwing a chili party. Have guests bring their favorite chilies to share. You supply a variety of toppings for guests to add as they prefer:
What to do with your leftover chili? Whatever you want. A few options:
Or just save it for another night. It just gets even better after a few days.
Do you have a favorite chili recipe, preferred topping, or delicious use for leftovers? Share!