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I've seen "chile," "chili" and "chilli." Do they all mean something different?

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Jalapeno chiles
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Question: I've seen "chile," "chili" and "chilli." Do they all mean something different?
Answer: This is a common question and has fueled many arguments over the subject. There are many accepted versions. Chile with an "e" at the end is the correct spelling in Spanish. Chili with an "i" at the end is the Americanized version. The "i" version began with the name of the dish "Carne con Chili," meaning "Meat with Chile." It evolved into "Chili con Carne" and then shortened to just "Chili." The term ending with an "i" is widely accepted and is often used as the name for "Chili Powder." The term "Chile" with an "e" is the more correct way to spell it, although many forms are accepted. Some accepted spellings are
  • Chile
  • Chilli
  • Chilly
  • Chilie
  • Chillie
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