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Q: Information related to Chiliheads ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Information related to Chiliheads
Category: Family and Home > Food and Cooking
Asked by: drjazz800-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 08 Apr 2006 10:14 PDT
Expires: 08 May 2006 10:14 PDT
Question ID: 716819
What is the origin of the term Chilihead and what spices and food
items are related to the term chilihead? What resources are available
to learn about the chilihead culture?
Subject: Re: Information related to Chiliheads
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 29 Apr 2006 10:12 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hello Drjazz800,

    I have a feeling you may be referring to  ?Chileheads?,  a term of
endearment for people who love chile and spicy food. It also
apparently refers to a business that makes over 500 types of very
spicy foods. It?s unlikely that a reliable ?first use? of this term
exists; it appears that the term is simply a term for true (VERY) hot
foot aficionados, akin to Jimmy Buffet?s Parrotheads in the pop  music

   ?Chiliheads? refers to lovers of chili, the bean and meat soup-like
concoction! (More on this topic further down in this answer)

   ?Chilehead definition and FAQ:
Welcome. So you want to know "What is a chile-head ?" Well, according
to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary and Encarta Online, a
chile-head is described as:
?  Chile-Head (Noun) - Lover, collector, or eater of the pungent fresh
or dried fruit of the cultivated or wild varieties of capsicum
including foods or products made from said fruits. This is usually
accompanied by the delusional need to inflict pain on oneself,
especially on the tongue or lips. They are traditionally a tight knit
group of hobbyists seeking to learn as much as they can about the
growth, preparation and consumption of Chile Peppers. Varieties of
this hobby include: hot sauce collectors, chile seed collectors,
cooking spicy food, homemade hot sauce and salsa makers, chile
gardeners, internet chile chat groups, chile seed exchange, etc.

Chile-heads are frequently seen gathering at one another's houses for
what they call "Hot Luck" dinners during which each guest brings a hot
or spicy food for all to share. They can also be found en masse at
fiery food or spicy food shows around the country.

They will often go to off the wall or little known feeding locales
around the world in search of good spicy food or hot sauces. For
entertainment they are most likely to be found watching the Food
Network or Garden Channel to look for any and all signs of chiles.
Okay, I was just kiddin about those being from Webster's and Encarta,
but they pretty well describe the lifestyle of a chile head. If you
would like to try some chile head products to see if you might be a
chile-head, please visit the "Ring of Fire" webring?

   ?ChileHeads don?t merely like the bite of these pungent pods; they
yearn for it. The chile pepper adds a certain sensory element to a
dish, however elaborate or delicate it might be. The ChileHead is
addicted. They start collecting different concoctions including hot
sauces, salsas, fresh or dried chiles and ground chile powders. In
what some might consider obsessive, the pepper eater may begin to turn
his or her nose up at foods that cannot be enhanced by the addition of
some sort of spicy condiment. That a third of the world?s population
has become so enamored of a fruit that bites back with such a vengance
is remarkable. They will seek out others of their faith and trade
chiles, sauces and stories. When they have stopped sweating and
fanning their mouths they will reach for another taste of El Grande??

Don?t forget to scroll down for the rest of the story: ?Chileheads
like their food hot, hot, hot. Not to be confused with chiliheads, who
are aficionados of the four-alarm tomato-sauce-based concoction,
chileheads tap into tongue-burning foods and sauces that span the
globe from Jamaica to Java.?

   ?Debates about the spelling are endless, and this controversy has
even made it into The Congressional Record. Senator Pete Domenici
(R-N.M.) noted in 1983: "New Mexicans know that `chili' is that
inedible mixture of watery tomato soup, dried gristle, half-cooked
kidney beans, and a myriad of silly ingredients that is passed off as
food in Texas and Oklahoma." But at least Domenici allowed Texans to
spell their chili with an i to differentiate it from the New Mexican
versions of the dish.

Texans insist on spelling both the pod and the dish with an i, which
is their prerogative. New Mexicans refuse to acknowledge that the word
chili even exists, which is their right, and they spell the plant,
pod, and dish with an e. In Illinois, for some strange reason, the
dish is spelled chilli. In the end, say the true chiliheads, it really
doesn't matter how you spell it-so long as you love it.

For the past couple of decades, writers who must use these terms quite
often, such as ourselves, have reached an informal agreement on style.
To avoid confusing the plant and pod with the bowl o' red, we use
chile, the original Spanish-Mexican spelling, to refer to the plant
and the pod. The word chili means the dish of meat and peppers. It is
an abbreviated form of chili con carne, which is a curious combination
of the Anglicized chili (from chile) and the Spanish carne (meat).
Interestingly enough, some early California recipes were for carne con
chile, which is actually a more accurate description, in Spanish, of
the chili of today.?

Chile Lore

   ?ChileHeads is the brainchild of Patrick and Vickie Hill, who,
raised in America's heartland, realized the need to spice up the lives
of the Midwest. Not only did they do just that, they added tremendous
varieties of spices and the place hasn't been the same since.?

ChileOpoly anyone? is a Division of Chiliheads Inc. a Marketing /
Advertising company specializing in promoting the best of the best
gourmet foods in the Hot sauce Industry.
Any questions regarding our services or the Chileheads Monopoly Game
should be sent to our Media Relations division:

   Hot Sauce Blog: Recipes, hot sauce reviews, hot sauce
manufacturers, restaurant reviews and more!
?Ok my fellow chileheads, collector?s, connoisseurs of hot sauce,
those interested in learning about all things hot, and the ones that I
can refer to as my brothers.

It seems that HSB has grown into quite the place over the last several
months. With this growth we have kept Nick busy with all of our
suggestions, comments, new ideas, and all of our antics. Somehow Nick
manages to stay on top of all this by constantly adapting to our ever
growing needs.
HSB has kept us on top of all the latest from the Blair?s Holiday/B-99
Reserve, to Defcon days. It has kept us tuned into the events from NM
during the Fiery Foods Show and has supported us through the long
weeks during the famous cutting-room floor contest where 6 of the 10
winners have called HSB home. It has spawned its own Hot Sauce and has
brought a group bonded by a common interest together to create their
own signed bottle.?

Here are 10 of the more than 350 ways to know you?re a chilehead:
You Know You're a ChileHead If: 
1. You don't have to worry about your roommates stealing your food
2. Your toilet paper spontaneously combusts after use
3. Dave Hirschkopf thinks *you're* crazy
5. Your Chile recipe is in violation of more than one nuclear weapons
proliferation treaty
6. Your used kleenex tissues glow in the dark
7. Nobody asks you to do the cooking at your family reunion
8. Your kitchen utensils were designed and built by NASA
9. You're tired of people asking about those dried Thai peppers
floating around in your breakfast cereal.
10. Your pepper garden is visible from the Moon

Offered from the site above, a newsletter for chileheads, and links to
several chilehead sites:  ?It is a group of friendly, helpful
individuals who share one unique trait:
They just can't get enough of that Hot and Spicy food!?

Join this Chilehead club!

Another Chileheads group

Hatch Chile Festival ? A Woodstock for chileheads!

One Chilehead?s review of hot sauces:

Other Chilehead  sites:


22 types of chiles

Chile Pepper magazine caters to Chileheads


   ?As with other cults, chiliheads tend to be a bit fanatical
Regional food specialties give rise to a kind of fanaticism based on
the concept of a supreme barbecue sauce, chowder, or chili recipe. As
with cults, the disciples tend toward heretical opinions and

Some chili fanciers (known in their own vernacular as chiliheads)
blanch at the thought of beans in the bowl; others groan at the
prospect of ground (as opposed to cubed) beef. Some curl their lips at
the suggestion of using prepared chili powder, just as clam chowder
purists (chowderheads, to some) vehemently reject the idea of celery
in Boston chowder.

Chefs of the West, on the other hand, realize that in a pluralistic
society there must be room for diversity. In this spirit of tolerance,
we welcome the unorthodox efforts of Edward Tuit--who gives us not
only beans, ground beef, and chili powder but throws in pork, green
chilies, and white wine.
The result is spicy but not fiery.?

   ?The ICS is a not-for-profit organization that sanctions chili
cookoffs. These events are worldwide and benefit charities or
nonprofit organizations. All winners of ICS sanctioned cookoffs
qualify to compete for cash prizes and awards at the World's
Championship Chili Cookoff. The ICS is the largest food contest,
festival organization in the world. Our sole purpose is to promote,
develop and improve the preparation and appreciation of true chili and
to determine each year the World's Champion Chili through officially
sanctioned and regulated competitive cookoffs. This association shall
further the camaraderie of chiliheads on behalf of charitable and
nonprofit organizations in the world.?

?Not an ICS Member? Then we invite you to become a card carrying ICS
Chilihead today! By joining the ICS you gain these benefits:

 Participate in cookoffs 
 Receive our newsletter 
 Share and trade your recipes with other Chiliheads 
 Free subscription to Chile Pepper Magazine

Chiliheads have their own search engine, with links to chile and chili!

Chiliheads Group

Chiliheads of Arizona

Links to other sites

I hope this has helped. Please do  not rate this question if  I am off
the mark! Please request an Answer Clarification, and allow me to
respond. I ?ll be happy to assist you further, before you rate.

Regards, Crabcakes

Search Terms

origin + chileheads
chiliheads + origin of

Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 10 May 2006 09:04 PDT
I'm sorry you were displeased with my answer. I searched for a long
time, and this is what I found, and felt it was a good answer. In your
opinion, what was missing?

Had you asked for a clarification, before rating, as I recommended, I
would have been happy to search further, with your clarification as to
what was missing.

Regards, Crabcakes
drjazz800-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
The answer was on task but with little detail.

Subject: Re: Information related to Chiliheads
From: thursdaylast23-ga on 29 Apr 2006 05:51 PDT
You might want to clarify whether you mean the term associated with
Southwestern food/cuisine or the term associated with chili, the
specific dish. The articles on Southwestern cooking I've seen
sometimes use the spelling you give, although technically
(apparently), if you're referring to things Southwestern, the term
would be "chilehead."

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