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When is National Chili Day?

The fourth Thursday in February is National Chili Day.

What is National Chili Day?

It goes by “chili con carne,” but many of us just know it as chili. National Chili Day celebrates chili, a classic and simple dish to warm us in the winter.

Everybody has their recipe. Chili verde omits the beef and tomatoes, opting for pork, tomatillos, and green chili peppers instead. You won’t find beans in Texas-style chili. Vegetarian chili recipes boost the number of bean types and throw in corn, celery, and other veggies. Some chili cooks even recommend adding half a beer to the pot as it simmers.

Nobody knows chili’s true origin story. Some say that emigrants from the Spanish Canary Islands created the first dish of chili con carne—or at least something very close to it—in San Antonio in 1731. Chili fanatics also like to argue about whether beans or meat accompanied the chili peppers in “real” chili.

Whatever the history, we can agree that the dish is here to stay, and we honor chili on National Chili Day.

Fun facts about National Chili Day!

  • Chili is the state dish of Texas.
  • The Gold Rush spread the popularity of chili in the U.S.
  • There are 2,000 to 3,000 different varieties of chili peppers in the world.
  • To put out a chili pepper fire in your mouth, consume something fatty or greasy (milk, curds, ice cream). All that spice comes from capsaicin, which is not soluble in water.

How to celebrate National Chili Day:

Find a chili cook off near you. If you can’t find one, create one yourself. Make it a party, and get 4 or 5 cooks to draw out the competitive spirit.

What’s the hashtag for National Chili Day?

Post your chili cook off pics on social media with #NationalChiliDay.