Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chili Vs. Chile

I often wander through my recipe writing and food writing using the terms chili and chile interchangeably and without much thought. Recently I was asked about the proper usage. Improper use of grammar is not uncommon for me at times. I find this quite amusing, because grammatical errors bug me when I discover them. So to clear things up for me and those who are also curious I bring you the definitative answer from that source of sources: Wikipedia!

Chili - generally refers to to a thick stew or soup prepared with beans and meat.
Chile - refers to peppers grown in a region.

The interesting thing about Wiki's description is that right after this declaration they list chili rellenos (stuffed chiles) spelled with an I? So the debate continues.

My organized Virgo-ness would like to have a definitive answer. But my Gemini moon loves that we can still morph the spelling to fit our ever changing minds. So my friends, the moral of the story is that there is a rule written in mud. Just enjoy your chiles, chilis! Take care of the taste buds and let an English professor worry about the spelling.

Here is Fred's awesome Chili with a chile (jalapeno) swimming in it.

Some Jalapeno Chiles growing in our garden


  1. Haha, I know I am sloppy about this. But what about the plural of "chile"? Why is it often "chilies"? This makes me feel like "chile" should really be "chili"... sigh.

  2. I think it is an evil plot to confuse we lovers of things spicy.

  3. Yeah, it's like Chile Powder vs. the mix Chili Powder- confusing for most!