The Secret of Texas Chili

In Texas there’s no discussion that will draw more fervent opinions and fewer changes of heart than a discussion of how to make the right chili. Can it have beans? How hot does it have to be? … It is the state dish after all. So where did Texas Chili really come from. Was it given by God when Moses Austin parted the Red River and brought Americans into Texas? Well, actually no. What has become Texas Chili developed during the cattle drives during the 19th century. The cattle owners didn’t want cattle slaughtered during the drive up to Kansas, but the trail riders needed something to eat. The solution was to butcher the meat before the cattle drive. They then soaked it in vinegar and peppers so that it wouldn’t spoil on the drive. That way no one other than a real cowboy would be willing to eat it. What about beans? Well I’m guessing a hungry trail rider wouldn’t turn beans down, so do as you please. But if you have to refrigerate it, it ain’t Texas Chili.


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