Fun Facts

For more information please contact Contact Chili Festival Group at 401-213-9766
Chili Fun Facts

"Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili." - Alleged dying words of Kit Carson (1809-1868) Frontiersman and Mountain Man

Chile is a health food!
  • A teaspoon of red chile powder meets the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A. Vitamin A plays an important role in vision and bone growth
  • A green chile pod has as much Vitamin C as 6 oranges
  • Chile peppers may help prevent the growth of certain cancers
  • Chile peppers are good sources of Iron, Potassium and Dietary Fiber
  • Aids in many skin conditions including psoriasis, itching and bruising
  • Some cultures put chile powder in their shoes to keep their feet warm

Chile Pepper Varieties
The most common species of chile peppers are:

Capsicum Annuum
Includes common varieties such as bell peppers, paprika, jalapeƱos, and the chiltepin

Capsicum Frutescens
Includes cayenne and tabasco peppers

Capsicum Chinense
Includes the hottest peppers such as habaneros and Scotch bonnets

Capsicum Pubescens
Includes the South American rocoto peppers

Capsicum Baccatum
Includes the South American aji peppers

A Chili History
1880s : San Antonio, Texas

Latino women nicknamed "Chili Queens" sold stew they called "chili" made with dried red chiles and beef from open-air stalls at the Military Plaza Mercado. They made their chili at home, loaded it onto colorful chili wagons, and transported the wagons and chili to the plaza. They build mesquite fires on the square to keep the chili warm and dished out chili to customers who sat on wooden stools to eat their fiery stew.

In those days, the world "chili" referred strictly to the pepper. They served a variation of simple, chile-spiked dishes (tamales, tortillas, chili con carne, and enchiladas). A night was not considered complete without a visit to one of these "chili queens."

In 1937 they were put out of business due to their inability to conform to sanitary standards enforced in the town's restaurants (public officials objected to flies and poorly washed dishes). Unable to provide lavatorial facilities, they disappeared overnight.

During the 1980s, San Antonio began staging what they call "historic re-enactments" of the chili queens. As an tribute to chili, the state dish, the city of San Antonio holds an annual "Return of the Chili Queens Festival" in Market Square during the Memorial Day celebrations in May, sponsored by the El Mercado Merchants.

How many kinds & varieties; About 400 different kinds

History vs. Folklore Trivia

The History of the ICS

What impact on arts, culture, social, etc.?

Chili Pepper Eating Contests

5 minutes to eat as many jalapeƱo peppers as they can

Tailgate Chili Recipe