And now, for the sauce. The complete story of chili remains shrouded in mystery, but Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, believes that it arrived to San Antonio in 1870s. It was sold by women who ended up with the nickname "chili queens," and they "played up the romantic exoticism of Old Mexico and decked their booths with lanterns and musicians." While the chili queens disappeared by the end of World War II, Arellano found that chile con carne found its way to restaurant menus by the 1880s, and pretty soon it was stuffed into cans. As Olson writes, "So chili gained traction contemporaneously with the hot dog. It was another ethnic food, sanitized, homogenized, and made blandly American."