It all started in San Antonio, Texas, in the 1800s; that's where and when chili, as a dish, was born.
The first written description of the original and legendary chili con carne was by Houston, Texas native J.C. Clopper who wrote: “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.”
Nowadays, chili takes on many forms, having been tweaked and twisted, according to regional ingredients and tastes, by chefs and home cooks alike. For many, a great chili recipe is a point of pride and a fiercely guarded family secret, never to be revealed but instead pitted against other great chili at cook-offs around America.
Click here to find some absolutely essential chili-making tips, and check out this collection of chili recipes; some are spicy and some are meat-free, but whichever you make, just don’t forget to lay out the sour cream, fresh cilantro, and Cheddar for your guests to pile on top.