Celebrate the many flavors, spices, and cultural traditions of chili during National Chili Month. The spicy dish has a long history, and has many regional interpretations across the country. Many states and cities are very proud of their local recipes, and why not be? Local tastes and traditions are a big part of how we choose and enjoy our foods.
Seasoning a pot-cooked meal with chile peppers has been a tradition in the Americas since long before Columbus sailed. Many states say that their chili recipes were handed down from long-standing native American cooking traditions. But chile pepper dished are by no means exclusive to the US – chile peppers have global appeal, springing up in the cultural foods of China, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Caribbean, France, and the Middle East. It’s clear that people around the world really love their spicy peppers!
Carroll Shelby, the automotive designer, racing driver and entrepreneur, was a founder of the Terlingua International Chili Championship in Terlingua, Texas and had this to say about the diversity of recipes for the dish: “The beauty of chili to me is that it’s really a state of mind.” “It’s what you want when you make it. You can put anything in there you want, make it hot or mild, any blend of spices you feel like at the time. You make it up to suit your mood.”
While many traditional recipes call for meat, meatless chili is a favorite for a spicy, protein-rich meal that’s easy to make, pack, and eat anywhere. These meatless recipes come from the Meatless Monday recipe bank and Meatless Monday bloggers.
For even more meatless options, check out our Meatless Monday Chili E-Cookbook. Try as many as you like, and then try your hand at making your own recipe! Often the best part of making a beloved dish is putting your own personal spin on a time-honored culinary tradition.
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