Chile as a State of Mind
“Whenever I meet someone who does not consider chili a favorite dish, then I’ve usually found someone who has never tasted good chili.” – Jan Butel, author of “Chili Madness,” published by Workman Publishing, 1980.
“Next to music there is nothing that lifts the spirits and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili. Congress should pass a law making it mandatory for all restaurants serving chili to follow a Texas recipe.” – Harry James (1916-1983) band leader and trumpeter
“Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili.” – Alleged dying words of Kit Carson (1809-1868) Frontiersman and Mountain Man
“Chili is much improved by having had a day to contemplate its fate.” – John Steele Gordon
“Chili is not so much food as a state of mind. Addictions to it are formed early in life and the victims never recover. On blue days in October, I get this passionate yearning for a bowl of chili, and I nearly lose my mind.” – Margaret Cousins, novelist
“The aroma of good chili should generate rapture akin to a lover’s kiss.” – Motto of the Chili Appreciation Society International.
Jesse James (1847-1882), outlaw and desperado of the old American West, refused to rob a bank in McKinney, Texas because that is where his favorite chili parlor was located.
Some Spanish priests during the 19th century were said to be wary of the passion inspired by chile peppers, assuming they were aphrodisiacs. A few preached sermons against indulgence in a food which they said was almost as “hot as hell’s brimstone.” “Soup of the Devil,” one called it. The priest’s warning probably contributed to the dish’s popularity.