When the fourth Thursday in February blows in, perhaps with a late snow in tow, everyone craves a piping hot, spicy bowl of chili to chase the chills away and to celebrate Chili Day.
Chili is popular cold weather fare and one of the many stars at Super Bowl parties. However, great debates stem from hotly contested ingredient lists and chefs that defend versus deviate from tradition.
Chili Con Carne means chili peppers with meat, and that’s how chili made its American debut in the state of Texas. These traditional bowls of ‘red’, as they are called, contain chunks of beef and chili peppers.
The use of ground beef or addition of beans is a big faux pas in the eyes of Texans. They scoff at “Northerner’s Chili”, which contains the forbidden ingredients. Controversies surrounding politics can’t hold a candle to heated debates about what’s simmering in the chili pot.
Today’s innovative culinary masters buck tradition and incorporate an array of tasty variations that include vegetarian, chorizo, white and verde.
Celebrate Chili Day by cooking a pot or two of your favorite recipes and set up a chili bar for your guests. Feel free to throwdown with everything from bowls of chili with chips to chili dogs to chili-topped baked potatoes.
Keep the beer flowing to temper the heat of those chipotles. Ample imbibing might even tame the spice from wagging tongues if the great debate ensues. As a foodie nation, we’ve come a long way. However, an increasing portion of the populous looks forward to savoring chili in all its satiating incarnations.