National Chili Month

National Chili Month celebrates food that is commonly known as chili. Typically, a dish can be called chili if it contains meat and tomatoes that are simmered in one pot with various spices. If that seems like a pretty broad definition, then you’re right; it is a broad definition.

And it’s one that not everyone agrees upon. For example, in some parts of the Midwest, it’s common to add kidney beans to chili, but in Texas, that practice is completely unacceptable.

Of course, this month wasn’t created to judge anyone on how they make their chili; it was created to encourage people to enjoy more of this stew during the month of October.

The History of National Chili Month

National Chili Month is one whose origin is as elusive as chili itself. No one really knows who invented this month, why they invented it, or when they invented it. It just popped up on the internet one day a few years ago and has been with us ever since. It appears to be just as much a mystery.

It’s also a mystery who invented chili or when that dish was invented. A legend states that immigrants from the Canary Islands brought a chili recipe with them when they settled in San Antonio, Texas, during the 18th century, but historians aren’t sure if that’s true or not. What is known is that chili was a popular dish among cowboys and pioneers living on the Western frontier.

Interesting Facts About Chili

Let’s take a few moments to look at some of the fun chili facts that we’ve learned about during our research for National Chili Month.

  • Although October is National Chili Month, National Chili Day isn’t until February 4th.
  • Christopher Columbus brought chili peppers back to Europe from the Americas.
  • In Mexico alone, there are over 141 different types of chili peppers.
  • Worldwide, there are over 400 varieties of chili peppers.
  • It’s believed that peppers were some of the first plants to be cultivated by humankind.
  • Birds are immune to capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers hot.
  • Chili peppers contain about 107 mg of Vitamin C. Oranges typically have less than 70 mg.
  • Eating chili peppers can help clear a person’s stuffy nose.
  • The Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas all used chili peppers as currency.

Observing National Chili Month

National Chili Month can be observed simply by making some chili. This can be a bowl of Texas Red, Cincinnati-Style Chili, Oklahoma-Style Chili, Chile Verde, or even Vegetarian Chili. People should also spread the news about this month using the hashtag #NationalChiliMonth on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 1 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
October 1 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
October 1 Sunday
Food & Drinks