Chilli or better yet Chilli con carne (the full name), is a dish which can be spicy hence the meaning of it is 'peppers with meat.' It is a very popular dish in America but has spread into other countries over the past few decades.
It is a common mistake to think that chilli came from Mexico, in fact you can't find chilli anywhere in Mexico and the only places that do have chilli only have it because they want to cater for tourists. Mexicans like to keep close to their culinary customs and particularly those that are of Indian ancestry.
They say that the first sign of chilli was invented in San Antonio, Texas by a group of Spanish Canary Islanders who had emigrated to Texas by order of King Philip V. This was done in order to help Spain's claim to the region and stop the western expansion of the French after having a strong presence in Louisiana. The group formed the first civil government that became the first municipality in the Spanish province of Texas. It is said that the women would make a spicy 'Spanish' stew that would be very similar to chilli
The original recipe consisted of dried beef, suet, dried chilli peppers and salt. These ingredients would be mixed together and then left to dry into bricks which meant that they would have to be boiled in order to eat which is why they were often the meal to have on a trail. People from other parts of the country got their taste of chilli from a stand at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago called 'San Antonio Chilli Stand' This is one of the main reasons why San Antonio started to get a lot of at the end of the 19th century and also helped the dish that came from Texas extend to the south and west.
In 1977 chilli became the official dish of the state of Texas, this was after the chilli manufacturers that were in the state lobbied non stop that the Texas Legislature should have the dish proclaimed as a state food.
Over the years there has been many dishes that have used chilli as an accessory or a side dish such examples like a chilli dog which is a hot dog that topped with chilli, there is also similar dishes like chilli burger and chilli fries which can have cheese added to it. Then there are places that serve chilli with nachos, salsa,cheese, sour cream guacamole and jalapeños. There is a lighter variation of that one with just nachos and cheese. Some people like to have chilli in a large baked potato which cheese and onions as toppings. Combination that is more popular in other countries than in Texas (although it is still popular in the south east region) is chilli and rice. You can find that combination is very popular in Hawaii, France, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Australia.
One of the popular things about chilli in America is that for many years places hold chilli cook off's which are competitions where you can sample some of the best, unique and a lot of chilli These in themselves can be spectacles as they are like an event with some of them having other things to keep you interested such as a amusement park. Go for a short break to Texas rentals just so they can sample some of the best chili in the world at these cook outs.