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National Chili Month

October 29, 2012
Chili from The Texas Cookbook (1949)

Chili from The Texas Cookbook (1949)

In honor of National Chili Month, UTSA Special Collections’ culinary blog La Cocina Histórica has featured chili recipes from two Texas cookbooks: a traditional meat-only chili from Cooking in the Heart of Texas (1984) and an older, but more unusual recipe that calls for beef stew meat, vegetables, and pinto beans from The Texas Cookbook (1949).

According to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, chili most likely originated in what became Texas. Its antecedents are uncertain, but may include dishes of stewed meat and wild chiles prepared by Native Americans or meat stew recipes brought from Europe by immigrants and adapted to local ingredients [1]

Cooking in the Heart of Texas (1984?)

Cooking in the Heart of Texas (1984?)

San Antonio has a special association with chili, as the home of the “chili queens” who served chili con carne, along with tortillas and tamales in San Antonio’s plazas during the late 19th and early 20th century.  UTSA Special Collections’ digital collections include images of 19th century chili stands and photographs of chili queens from the 1930s. San Antonio was also home to Gebhardt Mexican Food Company, famous for its chili powder and canned chili. UTSA Special Collections holds the Gebhardt Company’s records, some portions of which have been digitized.

Do you have a favorite Texas chili recipe? Share it with us on our Chili Month Guide.


[1] Sharon Hudgins, “Chili,” Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, ed. Andrew F. Smith, accessed October 10, 2012.

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