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In Texas, Chili is a Huge Deal!

Growing up in Miami, Florida, I don’t recall a bowl of chili being such big a deal.  It made for a nice meal but that was it.  In the 1980s, we relocated to Texas; left the state for a little while because of a job transfer; and then returned in the 1990s, and been here ever since.

If you’re going to live in Texas there is one thing you need to know.  In this state, chili is a huge deal!   There is almost a divide over it.  Especially whether or not the recipe includes beans.  According to the real Texans:  “If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans”.  Everybody has their own “best recipe ever!” and they have contests to prove it!  It’s a traditional holiday food and they even sing songs about chili con carne (which translated means, “chile peppers with meat”).

If you’re in Texas and you want to start up a conversation … just talk about chili.  You will either end up as best buds forever or frenemies for life.  (Just kidding.  LOL.)

♦ CONVERSATION STARTERS: ♦

What is the best chili?

  1. Chili w/ ground beef, red sauce
  2. Chili w/ ground beef and beans, red sauce
  3. White chili, made w/ chicken.
  4. White chili, made w/ chicken and white beans
  5. Vegetarian or vegan chili
  6. Add beer
  7. Do NOT add beer
  8. Add corn
  9. Do NOT add corn
  10. Substitute ground turkey or chicken for ground beef
  11. No such thing as substitutes
  12. Got my own chili recipe and it’s a secret!

* How do you top the chili?

  • Best if topped with shredded cheese
  • Best if topped with a dollop of sour cream
  • Best if topped with shredded cheese and sour cream
  • Who needs a topping as long as … uuhh … did you did make it HOT?

* What do you serve chili with?

  • Serve with crackers
  • Serve with corn tortilla chips
  • Serve with cornbread
  • Serve on top of white rice

Finally, there are those who say “Whatever!  Frito pie reigns supreme!”

* * *

  • Question of

    Is chili a huge deal where you live?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Is chili a traditional holiday food for you?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Did you know that the International Chili Society runs world-famous chili competitions and the 1st place prize can be as much as $25,000?

    • Yes
    • No

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