Return of chili cook-off reveals winning recipes
The only thing certain about chili is that it did not originate in Mexico. There are many legends and stories about its beginnings and a lot of the history centers on San Antonio, Texas.
One story is that the first chili recipe was written by a nun, Sister Mary of Spain, in the 17th century. Although she never left Spain her spirit somehow was known by the Indians of the southwest United States. It is said they used her recipe when making a stew.
Another legend about the beginning of chili comes from the colonists of the Canary Islands who settled outside the mission in San Antonio, known today as the Alamo. At sundown the ladies would come into the plaza, set up their tables and sell the stew they had made in copper kettles. That’s a tradition that lasted in that town into the 21st century. They were called "chili queens."
Another story comes from a discovery made in 1950 by a true chili lover. Records were found that indicated that the first chili was concocted by Texan adventurers and cowboys in 1850 as a staple for hard times.