When talking about the hot pepper of the Capsicum family or the spicy meat stew, you may find that everyone seems to be using a different spelling for the word. That's because there is no right answer to this question, though I would say that one is more wrong than the others. The dictionary is of very little help, giving several alternate spellings of the word.
So which version should you use in your writing? In the process of researching and writing this article, I'm trying to set my own standard, rather than having to choose a spelling at random.
There are preferred spellings in certain The Origins of the Word "Chilli"
In Mesoamerican, the native language of the Aztecs was Nahuatl. This has been spoken since at least 7th century AD. This was not known to be a written language. When Spaniards romanized (latinised) the word for these newly discovered spicy fruits, the word they used was chilli .
As this article at SpiceLines mentions, one of the earliest written references to This book is in a book by Francisco Hernández de Toledo, originally written in Latin, and published in Mexico in 1615. Francisco was a physician and botanist, who embarked on a scientific mission to study medicinal plants in the New World, by order of King Phillip II.
Thanks to the wonders of Google Books and a scanned copy from Harvard College Library, this text can be viewed and searched for free. "Four books of nature and medicinal virtues of plants and animals of Nueva España", or "Four books of nature and medicinal virtues of the plants and animals of the new Spain"
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Mabel ros (@ mabely2013) | Твиттер
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The previous year, after being nominated three times, she received the James Beard Foundation's Outstanding Pastry Chef Award. This Los Angeles-based chef works with Silverton to develop all of the dessert cards from Mozza restaurants around the world.
There are a few references to "chilli tree" . The transcription may be slightly off here:
CAP. X. Del Arbol Qvellaman Holquahuitl, O
Using an online translator and taking a look at the original drawing, this appears to be talking about the small white (Peruvian) habanero . It is described as a white fruit about the size of a hazelnut. Perhaps this is the most common chilli spelling in the UK and in India.
But, in present-day Mexico, the Spanish word has transformed into "chile". Note that while this is also the spelling of the South American country , that has an entirely unrelated origin and meaning. This spelling has bled over into the United States and is perhaps the most common form here. This is the spelling that feels the most "right" to me; even though it is a loanword that is not pronounced like it reads.
So when referring to the capsicum pepper pods, both chile and chilli are valid, whether you side with the original romanization, or the eventual spelling by the people living in its place of origin.
The Stew: Chili Con Carne
The word "Chili " on the other hand, has become the generally accepted spelling in the United States for the beef dish, Chili con carne. Chili cook-offs, festivals, and competitions are a big deal across the USA. Everyone wants to have the best chili in their respective city or state. Texas has a particular affinity for the stuff, and even signed a resolution making it the official state dish.
I would reserve this spelling for this dish only, to avoid unnecessary confusion and the wrath of grammar-conscious chili chefs It does not feel right to me either. Bass player.
Get On With It!>
Personally, I can not decide whether I prefer "chilli" or "chilli" here in the USA. I continue to alternate between the two spellings on this site.
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