MWe also like it hot, especially these days when the generally recommended lowering of room temperatures is causing problems. To ignite an inner fire, nothing beats a big, steaming pot of hot chilies. It hardly matters whether with or without carne; meat lovers can also be tempted with a vegan minced meat substitute.
It is also an inexpensive, low-calorie dish that is easily digestible because of the legumes and capsaicin in the chilies. It’s easy to prep, store, and make in bulk for when a busload of guests hits you for the holiday season.
The dish has its origins in the middle of the 18th century. It probably comes from the area between Texas, Arizona and Mexico, about which there is a great deal of debate. There is no disputing that the American “Bowl o’ Red” was essentially just a stew of boiled chilies and beef. Even before that, one of the first instant meals, “pemmican”, a paste made from mashed beef jerky, chilies and fat, was prepared into a hearty meal by cowboys with hot water and cornmeal over a campfire after their dusty day’s work.
Refinements such as onions, oregano, garlic and, above all, cumin (cumin), which is still characteristic today and found its way to America from the Canary Islands, were soon added. American army cooks may then have im First World War Added beans and later tomatoes.
Chilies became increasingly popular in the late 19th century. Market women offered them at their stalls, chili bars became legendary thanks to their recipe, and even prison kitchens are said to have become famous for their chili preparations. Arrived on the American east coast, the dish blossomed into strange flowers to the dismay of the Texans: first with spaghetti under the chili, then with cheese on top, then with beans and finally fresh onions “on top”. In South America, meanwhile, it has become a rice dish. And in tin cans, the spicy mush finally conquered the whole world.
In order to look up the original, you need some exotic chili varieties such as anchos and guajillos, which we can hardly get or only by mail order. I bought the slightly hot and fruity Peppinos and the fiery Jalapeños at the market.