Chili con carne

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Chili con carne
Bowl of chili.jpg
A bowl of chili con carne and tortilla chips
Alternative namesChili, Chilli
CourseMain
Place of origin Texas
Main ingredients Chili peppers, meat, and often made with tomatoes and beans
VariationsMultiple

Chili con carne or chilli con carne (/ˈtʃili koŋ ˈkaɾne/), meaning "chili with meat" and sometimes known as simply "chili" or "chilli", is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat (usually beef), and often tomatoes and beans. Other seasonings may include garlic, onions, and cumin. Geographic and personal tastes involve different types of meat and ingredients. Recipes provoke disputes among aficionados, some of whom insist that the word "chili" applies only to the basic dish, without beans and tomatoes. Chili con carne is a frequent dish for cook-offs and is used as an ingredient in other dishes.

Stew combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy

A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables and may include meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used. While water can be used as the stew-cooking liquid, stock is also common. Seasoning and flavourings may also be added. Stews are typically cooked at a relatively low temperature, allowing flavours to mingle.

Chili pepper fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae

The chili pepper, from Nahuatl chīlli, is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum which are members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Chili peppers are widely used in many cuisines as a spice to add heat to dishes. The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin and related compounds known as capsaicinoids.

Meat Animal flesh eaten as food

Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization allowed the domestication of animals such as chickens, sheep, rabbits, pigs and cattle. This eventually led to their use in meat production on an industrial scale with the aid of slaughterhouses.

Contents

Origins and history

In Spanish, the word chile from the Nahuatl chīlli refers to a "chili pepper", and carne is Spanish for "meat".

Nahuatl, known historically as Aztec, is a language or group of languages of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Varieties of Nahuatl are spoken by about 1.7 million Nahua peoples, most of whom live in central Mexico.

A recipe dating back to the 1850s describes dried beef, suet, dried chili peppers and salt, which were pounded together, formed into bricks and left to dry, which could then be boiled in pots on the trail. [1]

Suet raw, hard fat of beef or mutton found around the loins and kidneys

Suet is the raw, hard fat of beef or mutton found around the loins and kidneys.

Chili originated from what is now northern Mexico and southern Texas. [2] Unlike some other Texas foods, such as barbecued brisket, chili largely originated with working-class Tejana and Mexican women. [2] The chili queens of San Antonio, Texas were particularly famous in previous decades for selling their inexpensive chili-flavored beef stew in their casual "chili joints". [2]

Tejano resident of the state of Texas culturally descended from the original Spanish-speaking settlers of Texas and northern Mexico

Tejanos are the Hispanic residents of the state of Texas who are culturally descended from the original Spanish-speaking settlers of Tejas, Coahuila, and other northern Mexican states. They may be variously of Criollo Spaniard or Mestizo origin. Alongside Californios and Neomexicanos, Tejanos are part of the larger Chicano/Mexican-American/Hispano community of the United States, who have lived in the American Southwest since the 16th century.

The San Antonio Chili Stand, in operation at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, helped popularize chili by giving many Americans their first taste of it. San Antonio was a tourist destination and helped Texas-style chili con carne spread throughout the South and West. [3] Chili con carne is the official dish of the U.S. state of Texas as designated by the House Concurrent Resolution Number 18 of the 65th Texas Legislature during its regular session in 1977. [4]

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450 (2017), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, and the fourth largest in North America.

San Antonio City in Texas, United States

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, and the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Chili parlors

A pot of chili con carne with whole green hot chilis, kidney beans and tomatoes Pot-o-chili.jpg
A pot of chili con carne with whole green hot chilis, kidney beans and tomatoes

Before World War II, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors (also known as chili joints) could be found throughout Texas and other states, particularly those in which émigré Texans had made new homes. Each establishment usually had a claim to some kind of secret recipe.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

By 1904, chili parlors were opening outside of Texas, in part due to the availability of commercial versions of chili powder, first manufactured in Texas in the late 19th century. [5] After working at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Charles Taylor opened a chili parlor in Carlinville, Illinois, serving Mexican Chili. [6] Varallo's, the oldest restaurant in Tennessee, opened as a chili parlor in 1907, competing with other chili parlors that had opened in Nashville during the 1890s. [7] In the 1920s and 1930s, chains of diner-style chili parlors began opening in the Midwest.

Cincinnati chili, a dish developed by Greek immigrants deriving from their own culinary traditions, arguably represents the most vibrant continuation of the chili parlor tradition, with dozens of restaurants offering this style throughout the Cincinnati area. It can be traced back to at least 1922, when the original Empress Chili location opened. [8]

In Green Bay, Wisconsin, the chili parlor Chili John's has existed since 1913. As with Cincinnati chili, it is most commonly served over spaghetti with oyster crackers, but the recipe is less sweet with a higher proportion of fat. [9] The original proprietor's son opened a second location in Burbank, California in 1946, which is also still in existence. [10]

Until the late 2000s, a chili parlor dating to 1904, O.T. Hodge, continued to operate in St. Louis. It featured a chili-topped dish called a slinger: two cheeseburger patties, hash browns, and two eggs, and smothered in chili. [11] As of 2014 no O.T. Hodge-branded locations remain.

Dispute over ingredients

Ingredients for chili con carne Chili ingredients.jpg
Ingredients for chili con carne

Beans

Beans, a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine, have been associated with chili as far back as the early 20th century. [12] The question of whether beans belong in chili has long been a matter of contention among chili cooks. While it is generally accepted that the earliest chilis did not include beans, proponents of their inclusion contend that chili with beans has a long enough history to be considered authentic. [13] The Chili Appreciation Society International specified in 1999 that, among other things, cooks are forbidden to include beans in the preparation of chili for official competition—nor are they allowed to marinate any meats. [14] Small red or pink common beans are commonly used for chili, as are black-eyed peas, kidney beans, pinto beans, great northern beans, or navy beans.

A bowl of Texas-style chili without beans Bowl of Chili No Beans.jpg
A bowl of Texas-style chili without beans

Most commercially prepared canned chili includes beans. Commercial chili prepared without beans is usually called "chili no beans" in the United States. Some U.S. manufacturers, notably Bush Brothers and Company and Eden Organic, also sell canned precooked beans (without meat) that are labeled "chili beans"; these beans are intended for consumers to add to a chili recipe and are often sold with spices added.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are another ingredient on which opinions differ. Wick Fowler, north Texas newspaperman and inventor of "Two-Alarm Chili" (which he later marketed as a kit of spices), insisted on adding tomato sauce to his chili — one 15-ounce can per three pounds of meat. He also believed that chili should never be eaten freshly cooked but refrigerated overnight to seal in the flavor. Matt Weinstock, a Los Angeles newspaper columnist, once remarked that Fowler's chili "was reputed to open eighteen sinus cavities unknown to the medical profession." [15]

Variations

Vegetarian chili

A pot of vegetarian chili ChiliSinCarne.jpg
A pot of vegetarian chili

Vegetarian chili (also known as chili sin carne, chili without meat, chili non carne, and chili sans carne) acquired wide popularity in the U.S. during the 1960s and 1970s with the rise of vegetarianism. It is also popular with those on a diet restricting the use of red meat. To make the chili vegetarian, the cook leaves out the meat or replaces it with a meat analogue, such as textured vegetable protein or tofu, or a starchy vegetable, such as potatoes. These chilis nearly always include beans. Variants may contain corn, squash, mushrooms, or beets.

Chili verde

Chili verde (green chili) is a moderately to extremely spicy New Mexican cuisine stew or sauce usually made from chunks of pork that have been slow-cooked in chicken broth, garlic, tomatillos , and roasted green chilis. The spiciness of the chili is adjusted with poblano, jalapeño, serrano, and occasionally habanero peppers. Chili verde is a common filling for the Mission burrito.

White chili

White chili is made using white beans and turkey meat or chicken breast instead of a tomato-based sauce and red meat (beef). The resulting dish appears white when cooked.

Accompaniments and additions

Chili with garnishes and tortilla chips Chili with garnishes and tortilla chips.jpg
Chili with garnishes and tortilla chips
Chili con carne with mashed corn served in Austria ChiliOnAustrianTrain.jpg
Chili con carne with mashed corn served in Austria

The dish may be served with toppings or accompaniments; grated cheese, diced onions, and sour cream are common toppings, as are saltine crackers, tortilla chips or corn chips, cornbread, rolled-up corn or flour tortillas, and pork tamales. Chili can also be served over rice or pasta such as spaghetti.

Pre-made chili

Canned chili

Willie Gebhardt, originally of New Braunfels, Texas, and later of San Antonio, produced the first canned chili in 1908. Rancher Lyman Davis near Corsicana, Texas, developed Wolf Brand Chili in 1895. He owned a meat market and was a particular fan of Texas-style chili. In the 1880s, in partnership with an experienced range cook, he began producing heavily spiced chili based on chunks of lean beef and rendered beef suet, which he sold by the pot to local cafés.

In 1921, Davis began canning his product, naming it for his pet wolf, Kaiser Bill. Wolf Brand canned chili was a favorite of Will Rogers, who always took along a case when traveling and performing in other regions of the world. Ernest Tubb, the country singer, was such a fan that one Texas hotel maintained a supply of Wolf Brand for his visits. Both the Gebhardt and Wolf brands are now owned by ConAgra Foods, Inc. Another major maker of canned chili, Hormel, sells chili available with or without beans, made with turkey or in vegetarian varieties, under their own name and other brands like Stagg.

Brick chili

Another method of marketing commercial chili in the days before widespread home refrigerators was "brick chili". It was produced by pressing out nearly all of the moisture, leaving a solid substance roughly the size and shape of a half-brick. Wolf Brand was originally sold in this form. [16] Commonly available in small towns and rural areas of the American Southwest in the first three-quarters of the 20th century, brick chili has largely been surpassed by canned chili, but can still be found in some stores.

Seasoning mix

Home cooks may also purchase seasoning mixes for chili, including packets of dry ingredients such as chili powder, masa flour, salt, and cayenne pepper, to flavor meat and other ingredients.

Other dishes made with chili

See also

Notes

  1. "History and Legends of Chili, Chili Con Carne History, Whats Cooking America". whatscookingamerica.net. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 McCarron, Meghan (March 7, 2018). "Everything You Know About Tex-Mex Is Wrong". Eater. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  3. "History of Chili, Chili Con Carne". whatscookingamerica.net. 2004. Retrieved January 6, 2008.
  4. "State Dish - Chili". Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Retrieved on March 7, 2010.
  5. Andrea L. Broomfield (2016). Kansas City: A Food Biography. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 58–60. ISBN   9781442232891 . Retrieved September 14, 2017.
  6. "The First 100 Years", Taylorschili.com
  7. Myers, Jim (November 7, 2015). "Varallo's claims title of oldest restaurant in state". The Tennessean. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
  8. Herrmann Loomis, Susan (April 16, 1989). "Fare of the County; A City's Romance With a Bowl of Chili". The New York Times . Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  9. The Secret to Making Green Bay’s Own Chili John's Style Chili in Your Kitchen
  10. Chili John's Burbank, CA : Food Network
  11. O.T. Hodges Menu, a "chili parlor" in Ferguson, MO in business since 1904.
  12. Hill, Janet M. (June 1906). "Chili Con Carne". XI. Boston Cooking-School Magazine: 400, 401.
  13. Albala, Ken. Beans: A History. Oxford:Berg, 2007 p. 178
  14. Chili Appreciation Society International, Official CASI Rules & Guidelines October 1, 1999
  15. Tolbert, A Bowl of Red
  16. Tommy W. Stringer, "WOLF BRAND CHILI", Handbook of Texas Online (https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/diw01), accessed March 6, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
  17. "Austin City Limits Festival Food Rocks!". Slashfood. 2007. Retrieved September 27, 2007.

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