A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 21, 2006
Chili Powder

Chili powder may have been invented (or at least popularized) by the Gebhardt Chili Powder Company of San Antonio in the 1890s. Chili powder contains ingredients such as cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika and cumin.


(Oxford English Dictionary)
ADDITIONS SERIES 1997
chilli, n.
Add:  [2.] chilli (usu. chili) powder, a spice made from dried powdered red chillies.
1898 Thomas’ Amer. Grocery Trades’ Ref. Bk. 1899 218 San Antonio… Gebhart *Chili Powd[er] Co[mpany].

Wikipedia
Chili powder (also called chili mix) is a spice mix consisting of various ratios of dried ground chile peppers, cumin, garlic, and oregano. The ground chile peppers may be exclusively hot ones such as cayenne or (rarely) just mild ones like paprika, but are usually a mixture of types to give the desired balance between heat and chile flavor. As the name suggests, chili powder is used to spice chili as well as many other dishes.

Many people make their own chili powder, and many versions are available commercially. In addition to the main ingredients above, small amounts of any of a number of other powdered spices may be added to the mix including cinnamon, cloves, coriander, mace, nutmeg, turmeric and even black pepper.

There is some disagreement about the origin of manufactured chili powder. The two men generally credited with marketing the first commercial chili powder blends were William Gebhardt and D.C. Pendry.

Pendry ran a Mexican grocery supply company in Ft. Worth, Texas. He began manufacturing and marketing his blend of chili powder in about 1890, encouraging its use by people who were unfamiliar with it by supplying recipes to restaurants in the area.

William Gebhardt was a German immigrant to New Braunfels, Texas. He served chili in his café, flavored with his own blend of chili powder. He starting selling the blend in about 1894 under the brand name Gebhardt’s Eagle Brand Chili Powder.

Chili powder is often confused with the similar-sounding chile powder (an ingredient of chili powder), which is simply dried and pulverized hot chile peppers, the fruit of any of a number of hot varieties of the Capsicum plant of the nightshade family (Solanaceae). In cooking, a heaping teaspoon-full of chile powder is an equivalent substitute for one “average” chile.

An acceptable chili powder mix is:

Cayenne Pepper 1 T
Paprika or other milder powdered chile 1 T
Ground Cumin 2 T
Oregano 1 T
Garlic Powder 2 T
Smaller quantities of any or all of the other spices mentioned above
Yield: shy of 1/2 c

20 October 1897, Laredo (TX) Daily Times, pg. 1, col. 1 ad:
Gebhardt’s Chili Powder.

6 February 1898, Dallas (TX) Morning News, pg. 22 ad:
Gebhardt’s Chile Powder...25c

29 May 1898, San Antonio (TX) Daily Express, pg. 4:
ANOTHER YANKEE TRICK
The Spaniards claim that Yankees at Manila loaded their shells with Chili Powder. The Gebhardt Chili Powder Co., of San Antonio, who supplied them with that hot stuff, do not believe it. But they do believe that Dewey and his men loaded their food with same.

17 August 1898, San Antonio (TX) Daily Light, pg. 1 ad:
GEBHARDT CHILI POWDER CO.,
Owners of Formula and solo manufacturers of Gebhardt Eagle Chili Powder
1314 West Commerce st.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS.

(Trademark)
Word Mark GEBHARDT
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 029 030. US 046. G & S: BARBECUE SAUCE, DEVILED SANDWICH SPREAD, TAMALES WITH CHILI GRAVY, CHILI BEANS, CHILI POWDER, CHILI HOT DOG SAUCE WITH MEAT, PREPARATION FOR SEASONING AND THICKENING CHILI CON CARNE, CHILI WITH BEANS, CHILI CON CARNE WITH BEANS, CHILI WITHOUT BEANS, CHILI CON CARNE WITHOUT BEANS. FIRST USE: 18960101. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 18960101
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Design Search Code
Serial Number 71684727
Filing Date April 1, 1955
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0624612
Registration Date April 3, 1956
Owner (REGISTRANT) Gebhardt Chili Powder Company CORPORATION TEXAS 112 S. FRIS ST. SAN ANTONIO TEXAS
(LAST LISTED OWNER) Beatrice Foods Co. UNKNOWN Chicago ILLINOIS
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 19760403
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (2) Comments • Thursday, September 21, 2006 • Permalink


Great recipe for chili powder.  I couldn’t find anything like the chili powder I used in America when I first moved here and had my sister in Waco send me some!  This recipe fills the bill quite nicely and will save me a bundle of money.  Thank you.

Posted by Renee  on  03/26  at  04:39 PM

My Mother raised me eating Gebhardt’s clili meat spread sandwices in Fort Worth during the 40’s and 50’s. I would love to find a recipe that may replicate that now unavaible spread. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
Sincerly, Jim Edwards

Posted by Jim Edwards  on  08/15  at  12:50 PM

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