National Chili Day is Thursday. (Photo:
National Chili Day is Thursday. (Photo:

It looks like we celebrate just about anything in this country.

Thursday is National Chili Day, the one day a year where the love for chili is celebrated. (Who knew?) Whether you enjoy chili served with chips or eaten with rice, on a hotdog, or even vegetarian or Mexican style, there seems to be a style for everyone. Chili is a comfort food for most Americans. So why not make a day for it!

Long Islanders would’ve appreciated National Chili Day more, say, three weeks ago when sub-freezing temperatures blasted the Island and had many residents yearning for a hot dish. But we probably shouldn’t complain.

Now that we have you craving for this hot and spicy dish, here’s a couple of facts to chew on as you contemplate your dinner plans:

Despite popular belief chili does not actually come from Mexico. It has been influenced by Mexican culture but combines elements from Native American and Spanish culture. According to legend, Spanish priests called the first chili “the soup of the Devil” because they believed that chili peppers were an aphrodisiac.

The National Chili Day website states that many historians believe that chili originated near Texas. Chili back in the 1880’s was a total of 10 cents and was featured at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893 at the San Antonio Chili Stand. By the 20th century, chili joints had made their debut in Texas, the website says.

Long Island Press patrons

You can celebrate by making a batch of your own or take a trip to some popular chili spots on Long Island:

R.S. Jones
153 Merrick Avenue., Merrick. 516-378-7177

Multiple locations. Find one near you:

Salsa Salsa
142 Main Street., Port Jefferson. 631- 473-9700


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