Nero Wolfe, in one of the many novels and short stories in which he served as protagonist, once described chili as the perfect indigenous American food. This was not only due to its ingredients, which represented the various crops and cultures of the nation, but also because all of the tastes were designed, like a symphony, to work together in an appeal to the senses. I only wish I could remember in which story Wolfe says this.
It appears that chili has other uses, too.
Claiborne woman fights off home invaders with chili