When the calendar gets deep into fall and winter, almost nothing tastes better than a steaming hot bowl of chili. Now, what goes in that chili varies from individual to individual, but many of the best recipes have quality chuck beef, some variety of chiles, cumin, and probably some beer. What most chili purists won’t have, however is beans. (I’m not a purist, though; I like beans in my chili.)
Now that any city worth its salt has a chili cook-off, and there are national competitions that showcase this hearty soup, we’ve learned the unconventional ingredients sometimes include in winning recipes. Some include: pineapple, honey, vanilla (sounds pretty sweet so far), bacon, grape jam, Peppermint Patties, pumpkin, peanut butter. And anything that will make your mouth blister.
To each his own. One personal observation — there’s no reason I can think of why good chili has to be blistering hot. Spicy hot, I mean. The tongue needs to savor the richness of the flavors, not be hanging out of the mouth looking for an icy drink to plunge into. There are lots of excellent chili recipes available online, but here’s a page that has the recipes of the Chili Appreciation Society International’s Terlingua Championship winners all the way back to 1988. Enjoy.
- Chilly weather means chili weather (eatocracy.cnn.com)