"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
"It can only truly be Texas red if it walks the thin line just this side of indigestibility: Damning the mouth that eats it and defying the stomach to digest it, the ingredients are hardly willing to lie in the same pot together." - John Thorne, Simple Cooking
"The chile, it seems to me, is one of the few foods that has its own goddess." - Diana Kennedy, cookbook author
"Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing. One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red. There is simply nothing better." - Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States
Will Rogers (1879-1935), popular actor, cattleman, banker, and journalist, called chili "bowl of blessedness." It is said that Will Rogers judge a town by the quality of its chili. He sampled chili in hundreds of towns, especially in Texas and Oklahoma and kept a box score. He concluded that the finest chili (in his judgment), was from a small cafe in Coleman, Texas.
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.
Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson had "chili pangs" for President Lyndon Johnson's, 36th President of the United States, "Pedernales River Chili" and had cards printed with the LBJ chili recipe. "It has been almost as popular as the government pamphlet on the care and feeding of children."
Eleanor Roosevelt (1894-1962) wife of the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, sought the Chasen's Chili recipe but was refused it (a complimentary order was dispatched to her instead).
It is said that Chasen's also sent chili to movie actor Clark Gable (1901-1960), when he was in the hospital (he reportedly had it for dinner the night he died).