As autumn settles in and we can feel the chill of winter coming on, I start to crave warm, comforting foods to serve on these cold days. Chili is almost always the first thing that comes to mind!
At its most basic level, the slow-simmered one-pot dish contains meat, tomatoes, and some form of heat (chiles, chili powder, hot sauce, etc.), but as most fierce chili chefs will tell you, the secret's in the sauce; everyone has his or her own magical blend.
Chili is an iconic American staple, served everywhere from upscale Tex-Mex restaurants to hot dog carts on the sidewalk. It's hearty, it's flavorful, and everyone seems to have their own unique recipe that celebrates this seemingly humble dish.
Traditional Texas-style chili is also known as chili con carne: a blend of meat, tomatoes, and chiles, but strictly free of one ingredient. As devout Texas chili adherents like to say, "If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain't got no beans." Chili beans (that is, chili con carne with beans) is also a perfectly acceptable dish. However, whether in the Lone Star State or elsewhere, beans often show up in chili recipes and were used historically when meat was expensive or scarce.
The fame of chili con carne began to spread, and the dish soon became a major tourist attraction. It was featured at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893 at the San Antonio Chili Stand.
By the 20th century chili joints had made their debut in Texas and became familiar all over the west by the roaring ‘20s. In fact, by the end of that decade, there was hardly a town that didn't have a chili parlor, which were often no more than a shed or a room with a counter and some stools. It’s been said that chili joints meant the difference between starvation and staying alive during the Great Depression since chili was cheap and crackers were free.
Today’s chili recipes range from traditional to recipes with chicken, white beans, even vegetarian chili is a thing. Check out these delicious chili recipes using our gourmet sauces and spreads: https://bit.ly/2Nbq89S.
Happy Fall, y’all from all of us at Bellisari’s!