Its Chili Time! When the weather FINALLY turns cool , it's time for a steaming "Bowl of Red"! Chili, to an aficionado, is more than a spicy stew; it is a craving, a passion, for a simmered combination of meat and chile peppers that warms the heart and inspires the soul. The exact origin of chili is still shrouded in mystery. Some people believe it wa s originated by chuckwagon cooks who regularly prepared stew for the cowpokes of the Southwest. Possibly, one of the these cooks ran out of black pepper and in his search for a substitute, he came across some red chile peppers which were common among the Indians and Mexicans in the territory that is now west Texas. These undomesticated capsicums were extremely hot. When the cowboys inquired about the source of the extreme heat, they were told that the heat came from the "chile", or hot pepper. Over time, this sizzling stew became popular in its own right, and became known as "chili".