*Some hold that chili was first invented by Canary Islanders who were
brought to San Antonio in the 1700's and who used local ingredients~
Chili peppers, wild onions, and garlic, to re-create the pungent meat
dishes they have cooked in their native land.
*Going way back one source claims that chili originated with the Aztecs, who, justifiably angered at the invading Spanish, cut them into tiny, 3/8-inch dice and stewed them with chili peppers. I Don't think my Spanish freinds would be to keen on this one!
*Another Theory puts forth the proposition that chili was really invented by the lavanderas, or washwomen, who folled around the nineteenth-century armies of Texas and made an amalgam of goat meat or venison, wild marjoram, and red chiles as they traveled from camp to camp.
*One Story credits a native Texan who cooked for the cowboys on trail drives. In order to make fresh beef more palatable, he foraged for wild oregano, chile peppers, garlic, and onions and made a chili stew. So that he wouldn't run out, he transplanted those plants in patches of mesquite along the trails and harvested them on the next drive.
*Another version holds that settlers heading to the gold fields of California took with them "chili bricks" made by pounding beef together with lard and chili peppers, which could easily be reconstituted on the trail.