With St. Margaret’s Chili Cook-off only a few weeks away -Saturday, Oct. 10 -it’s time to learn a bit about this dish. Stories about where chili originated differ. Here are two versions. They come from a Yahoo writer who credits the McIlhenney Tabasco Company.
“General consensus dates its beginnings to the mid-1800s with Texas trail cooks who had to feed hungry cowboys on long trail drives, using whatever ingredients were on hand. That often meant beef (or buffalo, venison, or rattlesnake), chiles, and wild garlic, onion, and herbs. Inventive cooks discovered they could make nonperishable trail food by pounding together dried beef, fat, chile peppers, and salt. These “chili bricks” could be soaked in water during the day, and by dinnertime they could be boiled in water with garlic and cumin to make a hearty stew.
“Another account claims that chili was invented around 1880 in San Antonio by “Chili Queens” – women primarily of Mexican descent who sold stew made with dried chiles and beef from open-air stalls and colorful chili wagons in the city’s military plaza. The Chili Queens remained an attraction in San Antonio until the early 1940s.”
Whatever -bring your favorite version of this spicy concoction to the parish hall next month and invite a few friends to join us.