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View Full Version : Should chili have beans? Let's settle this once and for all!


BrainGlutton
12-13-2005, 01:28 PM
The thread title, of course, is facetious . . . the beans/no beans debate has been raging for more than a hundred years. As I understand it, in Texas it even has political implications . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chili_con_carne#Beans_or_no_beans.3F

I like beans in chili. I like the flavor, I like the texture. I've had several different beans-free chilis and they just don't seem complete. And the beans should be cooked with the chili, so the flavors can merge, not spooned in at the table.

(This applies only to chili eaten as a dish. Chili as a hot dog topping should not have beans.)

What's your opinion?

TheBoneyKingofNowhere
12-13-2005, 01:38 PM
Chilli isn't chili without beans, in my opinion.

Nothing else to add.

pulykamell
12-13-2005, 01:47 PM
Both are good. I like the pure Texas green and red chilis, and I like the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink variants of Cincinatti. They are very different tastes and set up different expectations. Chili without beans is most certainly chili. Chili, at its purest, is simply meat (beef or pork) and chile peppers stewed together with spices (cumin being the predominant flavor in the spice mixture, outside of any types of dried chiles). You don't really more than this, but you're welcome to add all sorts of stuff. It just won't be Texas chili, but it is chili of some sort.

Overall, my favorite chilis, are the purist chilis of Texas. If you've ever had a bowl of Texas red, you can certainly appreciate how much flavor can be extracted from a minimal selection of ingredients (although to be honest, Texas chilis can be quite complex with all the different types of peppers, spices, timings of spice drops, etc., that go into it.)

But these chilis are nigh impossible to find in Chicago, so I go for the other extreme and eat the chilis with beans, raw onions, sour cream, cheese, etc., on it.

Homebrew
12-13-2005, 01:48 PM
You poor misguided souls. Beans are an abomination to a bowl of red. The proper way to eat chili is to serve it over Fritos® and top with chopped onions, sour cream and cheddar.

silenus
12-13-2005, 01:50 PM
You couldn't ask about declawing cats or circumcision, could you? No....you had to ask about chili!

The correct answer to your question is NO FREAKING WAY, JOSE!!!!! :D

DeVena
12-13-2005, 02:02 PM
DeHusband is from New Mexico. He thinks that not only should chili not have beans, it should not have anything resembling tomatoes, either. His recipe is shredded beef and ground red chiles (hot!) in stock. With chopped onions as a garnish.

He's so cute, but so so wrong.

John Mace
12-13-2005, 02:15 PM
If God wanted chili to be beanless, why the hell did She make chili-beans?

I never knew about this debate, and haven't had the Texas style chili, but I'm game. I never thought I liked beans much until I had Texas BBQ w/ beans on the side. Them is some good eatin' beans!!

Duke of Rat
12-13-2005, 02:24 PM
DeHusband is from New Mexico. He thinks that not only should chili not have beans, it should not have anything resembling tomatoes, either. His recipe is shredded beef and ground red chiles (hot!) in stock. With chopped onions as a garnish.


He's right!

You poor misguided souls. Beans are an abomination to a bowl of red.

So's he!

Doug Bowe
12-13-2005, 02:25 PM
According to Consumer Reports this question depends on your geography.

In some areas it's kidney beans. In other areas it's pinto beans. In some areas it's no beans.

In Ohio some people pour chili over spaghetti. In other places this could get you shot.

This applies to the heat, too. The farther South you go the hotter it gets. Not surprisingly, around New Orleans using Tobasco for the heat is not only accepted but expected.

Like Bar-b-Que, this question will have more to do with the food as a religion than as a food.

Broken Wind
12-13-2005, 02:43 PM
Pure chili does not have beans. If you go to the grocery store and look at the canned chili aisle (not that I would ever actually buy the stuff) you will find cans of

A) Chili, or
B) Chili with beans

The beans are added to A) in order to come up with B), not extracted from B) to come up with A). At least that's my theory.

longhair75
12-13-2005, 02:44 PM
i make chili with pinto beans. if the beans in mychili are not to your taste, there is a macdonald's a couple of blocks away. bon appetite!

Man With a Cat
12-13-2005, 02:46 PM
I'd say that once Broken Wind responds to an inquiry about chili, you've pretty much gotten your definitive answer.

pulykamell
12-13-2005, 03:04 PM
DeHusband is from New Mexico. He thinks that not only should chili not have beans, it should not have anything resembling tomatoes, either. His recipe is shredded beef and ground red chiles (hot!) in stock. With chopped onions as a garnish.

He's so cute, but so so wrong.

Actually, your husband is quite right. Tomatoes are most certainly not included in the purist's chili (note my basic guide lacks this ingredient.) You will not find tomatoes in many, if not most, Texas red recipes.

Gary T
12-13-2005, 03:13 PM
The term chili is short for the phrase "chili con carne." It is not short for "chili con frijoles."

"Chili con carne" means "chili peppers with meat." It does not mean "chili peppers with beans."

Proper chili is made with pork chunks simmered in a broth of chili peppers. Period. Beef is not ideal, but can be allowed, if it's beef chunks (or shredded, I guess). Ground beef is not allowed.

You misguided fools who like to mix ground beef and beans might be making a tasty dish, but it ain't chili.

Anything else you need to know the absolute correct truth about, just let me know. My knowledge is exceeded only by my humility.

Orual
12-13-2005, 03:21 PM
No beans. No tomatoes. Shredded cheese and onions on the side. Sour cream if you must.

lieu
12-13-2005, 03:21 PM
There's no reason a meal shouldn't provide a little entertainment as well.

With beans.

AndyPolley
12-13-2005, 03:57 PM
Anything else you need to know the absolute correct truth about, just let me know. My knowledge is exceeded only by my humility.
Your generosity knows no bounds. :D

I once lost a chili-cook-off-contest when the judges, while impressed with everything else about my dish, thought it was 'odd' to not include beans in my recipe.

Those punks.

Count me in as one who believes there is real chili, and then there is chili that has beans added to it.

pulykamell
12-13-2005, 04:24 PM
Your generosity knows no bounds. :D

I once lost a chili-cook-off-contest when the judges, while impressed with everything else about my dish, thought it was 'odd' to not include beans in my recipe.

Those punks.

The lesson is know your audience. One guy I know who knows real barbecue inside decided to enter a local Chicago BBQ rib competition. Anyone who knows BBQ knows that it involves slow cooking over long periods of time over wood, imparting a nice smokey flavor to the meat. Good BBQ is served with sauce on the side: the flavor is from the technique, choice of woods, and mastery of the fire.

He lost to a guy who steamed his ribs, threw 'em on the grill, and drowned them in BBQ sauce. No smoke flavor. No oak & hickory goodness. Heathens. He's never entered a local BBQ cook-off since.

Doctor Jackson
12-13-2005, 04:27 PM
Chili for topping hotdogs, burgers, FritosTM, etc. - no beans.

Chili for eating right out of the bowl - lotsa beans. And cornbread.

That's the facts.

Odinoneeye
12-13-2005, 04:48 PM
I've had real chili when I was in Texas, no beans, no tomatoes, and frankly, it had no flavor.

It was hot, but it had no flavor.

Let's get this straight right now, heat level and flavor are not the same thing.

When people tell me that real chili has no tomatoes, my reply is, "Maybe, but real good chili does."

Cheesesteak
12-13-2005, 04:54 PM
Chili in its purest form is meat, chili peppers and spices, just like pizza in its purest form is dough, tomato sauce and cheese. You can add beans/tomatoes/onions etc. to chili just like you can add toppings to pizza. It's still chili, just gussied up.

Note, however, that someone saying that you MUST have beans for it to be chili, is dead wrong.

pulykamell
12-13-2005, 04:56 PM
Let's get this straight right now, heat level and flavor are not the same thing.


No they're not, but good chili has both. Then again, it depends on your tolerance for heat. The chili may have been beyond your heat tolerance and the flavor may have been lost on you. This is not a criticism of you, just that one man's spicy is another man's mild.

silenus
12-13-2005, 05:00 PM
Good chili should make your eyes bleed!

Side story: One of the best batches if chili I ever made was in Alaska one year, when my roommate bagged a moose. Moose meat, chilis, spices......we ate the whole batch just standing around the stove with 3 big bags of Fritos. Dip, munch, sigh. Repeat. That batch almost made the paint on the range hood bubble. :D

pulykamell
12-13-2005, 05:02 PM
just like pizza in its purest form is dough, tomato sauce and cheese. Sorry to nitpick, but I'd go even further and say pizza in its purest form is just a disc of dough. Plenty of pizzas don't have tomato sauce (like the classic Potato & Rosemary pizza, or any of a variety of pizza biancas), and some don't even have cheese (as in the pizza marinara--tomato, garlic, and olive oil). Also note that the aforementional pizza marinara or the popular pizza marghareta also don't contain tomato sauce, but rather tomato slices.

Harborwolf
12-13-2005, 05:07 PM
Personally, I like my chili with beans. I've got two types I like. One's the ground beef/chili powder version. It's good and quick. The fam likes it just fine. The other is the beef/pork/whatever version with chiles that takes a bit longer to cook and has a bit more heat than everybody in my family but myself can take.

As long as you've got some form of chile in there (either the peppers or the chili powder), who cares what else you do to it. It's chili.

Ike Witt
12-13-2005, 05:12 PM
There's no reason a meal shouldn't provide a little entertainment as well.

With beans.
If only the effects were as quick as Blazing Saddles would lead us to believe...


It has always been my impression that beans were cheap filler for chili. You make it with meat - and if the budget is kinda tight you stretch the chili by adding beans.

Roland Orzabal
12-13-2005, 05:40 PM
Chili without beans isn't chili.

That being said, I hate beans, so whatever chili without beans *is*, I'm a fan of that. I call it usually call it "hot dog chili", and nobody has yet had trouble understanding that.

scotandrsn
12-13-2005, 07:56 PM
If God wanted chili to be beanless, why the hell did She make chili-beans?

I never knew about this debate, and haven't had the Texas style chili, but I'm game. I never thought I liked beans much until I had Texas BBQ w/ beans on the side. Them is some good eatin' beans!!

I only first heard about this dispute recently, on an episode of "America's Test Kitchen". Based in Brookine, MA, they made a chili loaded with beans and such, which is how I have always encountered it, even on hot dogs, but the host was the first to admit that a Texan would call it "wussy chili".

Torgo
12-13-2005, 09:14 PM
Chili should not have beans or tomatoes. It shouldn't have any meat either. Real chili consists of a bowl of cayenne pepper that you consume anally.

Billy Powell
12-13-2005, 09:14 PM
Chris Kimball. In one of the issues of "Cook's Illustrated" (from 2003 or 2004) they give a recipe while admitting that they are only going for a very middle-of-the-road "base" recipe. If I'm not mistaken, which I could well be, considering this is pretty much the pattern for all their articles. I was fortunate enough to find bound volumes of 2002-2004 CI for $5 each at a local bookstore which sells remaindered stock.

Pound for pound, the best writing on chili and, more generally, the serious business of the relationship of cowboys to their meat, can be found in the essay of John Thorne in his book, "Serious Pig."

For me, I love beans, but I prefer them served on the side, seasoned just the way I like them, and the chili itself pure. No tomato, either. Never been to Texas neither. I've never lived with a woman, however, who accepts this version of chili.

Miller
12-13-2005, 09:22 PM
I vote for beans. If that means it's not "real chili," fine. I hereby suggest that we call it, "Better than chili."

Because it is.

lonesome loser
12-13-2005, 09:48 PM
Not only do I put beans in my chili.

But I put celery too.

So there.

Carnac the Magnificent!
12-13-2005, 09:56 PM
DeHusband is from New Mexico. He thinks that not only should chili not have beans, it should not have anything resembling tomatoes, either. His recipe is shredded beef and ground red chiles (hot!) in stock. With chopped onions as a garnish.

He's so cute, but so so wrong.



DeHusband isn't making chili. He's making chopped hamburger in a bowl. Tell him to straighten up or his kitchen privileges will be revoked.

Depending on the bean, beans detract from the authentic Red River experience. I cook mine separate and add only at the last minute.

Kolak of Twilo
12-13-2005, 10:02 PM
Not only do I put beans in my chili.

But I put celery too.

So there.

HEATHEN!!!

Go here. (http://www.chilicookoff.com/History/History_of_Chili.asp)
Read.
Learn.


Frankly, put whatever you want in your chili. Just don't expect me to call it chili.

lonesome loser
12-13-2005, 10:06 PM
chili

n 1: ground beef and chili peppers or chili powder often with tomatoes and kidney beans [syn: chili con carne]

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=chili

So...according to dictionary.com..you have to use ground beef.

Heathens!

:)

I don't use ground beef.

NDP
12-13-2005, 10:20 PM
Not only do I put beans in my chili.

But I put celery too.

So there.
I agree with Kolak of Twilo. That's not chili. With the addition of celery, you've just crossed over into stew.

Wile E
12-13-2005, 10:22 PM
I'm with Miller, Odin and many others.
If you like beans or tomatoes or turkey or chocolate in your chili and that's how you like it and you want to call it chili then good for you. If you are a chili snob ... sorry, I mean "purist" and you come to my home and rant about how stupid I am because my chili can't have 3 kinds of beans, celery, green peppers and tomatoes and I shouldn't call it chili because it's really vegetable bean tomato soup with chili spices then you are not only welcome to not eat my "chili" but you are also welcome to leave. Thankyouverymuch.

fluiddruid
12-13-2005, 10:58 PM
In my opinion, chili is a stew primarily spiced with chili peppers and cumin.

The rest is just details.

BrainGlutton
12-13-2005, 11:48 PM
In my opinion, chili is a stew primarily spiced with chili peppers and cumin.

The rest is just details.

So, curry qualifies as chili?

pulykamell
12-14-2005, 07:55 AM
DeHusband isn't making chili. He's making chopped hamburger in a bowl.

You people are weird.

Kolak's link has a very good explanation of the history of chili, and in chili cook-offs where chili itself was invented beans are generally not allowed. So much so that the songwriter Ken Finlay wrote a little ditty called "If You Know Beans About Chili, You Know That Chili Has No Beans." A sample lyric:


You burn some mesquite
And when the coals get hot
You bunk up some meat
And you throw it on a pot.
While some chile pods and garlic
And comino and stuff
Then you add a little salt
Till there's just enough
You can throw in some onions
To make it smell good
You can even add tomatoes
If you feel like you should
But if you know beans about chili
You know that chili has no beans


Obviously, each region has its own take on chili, and the definition of the stew has evolved to include variants with beans & celery & spaghetti & whatnot. Generally, everywhere outside the Southwest, I expect chili to contain all sorts of unorthodox ingredients, and I don't care. I think most people outside the Southwest, as evidenced by this thread, think real chili comes with beans and an assortment of vegetables. That's fine--just be careful what you call it to a New Mexican or Texan.

bouv
12-14-2005, 08:48 AM
Personally, I don't care oen way or the other if someone puts beans in their chili (but then, I'm not frmo Texas, so that's prboably standard fare.) But, IMO< the first chilis probably did have beans in them.

Although it's not mentioned in that history of chili article linked to, I still think it to be true. Why? Well, think about it. Chili was served out on the trail as a means to both make the tougher parts of meat more palatable, and to use up meat on the verge of spoilage. Why did they have to use these less desirable meats? Because the less cows they killed on the trail, the more they had to sell when they got to wherever it was that they were going. So you're a trail cook, and you know that you will get a better cut of the profits by keeping more cows alive. Wouldn't it make sense to use nice, cheap and filling beans in this mixture so that less beef could be used? Sure makes sense to me.

But, Texas being what it is, when Chili start to get popular, they had to ''Texas it up" and get rid of those namby-pamby beans. Just lots of DEAD COW and HOT CHILES! Woo, doggie! Texas style! Etc...

robby
12-14-2005, 09:21 AM
I'm a native Texan, and my favorite chili is my mom's recipe.

Her recipe calls for stew beef, ground beef, kidney beans, and pinto beans.

She also apologizes to guests for the beans. :)

As she puts it, "I know real Texas chili shouldn't have beans in it, but that's the way we like it."

Duke of Rat
12-14-2005, 09:31 AM
But, Texas being what it is, when Chili start to get popular, they had to ''Texas it up" and get rid of those namby-pamby beans. Just lots of DEAD COW and HOT CHILES! Woo, doggie! Texas style! Etc...

I think you put the cart before the horse. By many (most, all?) accounts, Chili was invented in Texas. When it became popular is when people started modifying the recipe by adding stuff like beans.

More info Here (http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Chili/ChiliHistory.htm).

Wile E
12-14-2005, 09:50 AM
I don't think this is ever going to be settled once and for all, can't you just accept that there are some dishes that vary by regions? There's barbeque (I hear some people put coleslaw on their BBQ sandwich!), pizza, hot dog toppings and even cornbread varies by region.

If Texans want to shout "that's not real chili!", they can do that and we'll just roll our eyes, pile on the beans and call it chili anyway.

Chefguy
12-14-2005, 10:00 AM
So who elected Texans the arbiters of good taste? Other Texans, most likely, which negates the hypothesis that no beans=good chili. Black bean chili is the food of the gods. Pintos are okay. Kidney beans are an abomination. So endeth the lesson.

UncleRojelio
12-14-2005, 10:07 AM
All you blasphemers can put beans in your chili if you want, but if you show up at this chili cook-off (http://www.chili.org/terlingua.html) with your unholy gruel, you might as well bring your own rope because, if they can find a tree, they will hang you!

silenus
12-14-2005, 10:10 AM
Directly opposed to Chefguy, I think that if you have to put beans in chili, then kidney beans are the way to go. Pinto beans belong alongside, not in chili.

And Wile E...proper Carolina BBQ is served with coleslaw on the sandwich. Quite good, it is.

Broken Wind
12-14-2005, 10:38 AM
Chili should not have beans or tomatoes. It shouldn't have any meat either. Real chili consists of a bowl of cayenne pepper that you consume anally.Um, remind me never to borrow your spoon...

Kalhoun
12-14-2005, 10:49 AM
You poor misguided souls. Beans are an abomination to a bowl of red. The proper way to eat chili is to serve it over Fritos® and top with chopped onions, sour cream and cheddar.
I think I love you.

Scumpup
12-14-2005, 11:21 AM
I think you put the cart before the horse. By many (most, all?) accounts, Chili was invented in Texas. When it became popular is when people started modifying the recipe by adding stuff like beans.

More info Here (http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/Chili/ChiliHistory.htm).

Chili was invented in Texas? So, you are saying that Mexicans_who had long been using chili peppers, comino, beef, pork, etc._never thought to cook those things together? Frankly, sir, I find it about as believable that Texans invented chili as I do that Russians invented baseball.

pulykamell
12-14-2005, 11:23 AM
So who elected Texans the arbiters of good taste?

Nobody. We're not (or at least I'm not) saying that good chili equals no beans. However, they're the ones who invented chili, so I feel they should have a say into what constitutes real chili.

I disagree with bouv's assumption that the original chilis probably contained beans. First of all, there's no evidence for it. Secondly, there's nothing unusual about using your cows on the trail for food without filler. Hungarians used to do it all the time in their gulyasleves ("goulash soup" or "real" goulash). They'd take one sickly cow along for the journey, butcher it along the way, and not add any filler or extender: just meat, onions, paprika, and some carrots and parsnips. There are variants of gulyas with beans in it, but the standard was beanless. So there seems to be historical precedent across cultures that would say that while your hypothesis is logical, unless you have any evidence other than mere supposition for it, it's not necessarily true. And why would they have to put the beans in the chili itself anyway? They may have just as well--if not more probably--served it as a side dish.

Lightnin'
12-14-2005, 11:27 AM
I'm from Texas- lived all my life there. However, I disagree with the standard Texan's opinion on beanless chili. I highly prefer beans, preferably pinto beans, in my chili. I also like chunks of tomato, and chunks of meat as opposed to ground beef.

"Texas Red", for me, is a condiment. It's a meal with beans and tomatoes.

I do agree, however, that Chili Pie (chili over fritos, with onions and cheese... preferably right out of the Fritos bag) is the best way to eat chili, beans or no.

Damn, now I know what I want for dinner tonight.

kelly5078
12-14-2005, 11:37 AM
Beans should be an option, as they promote regularity. In Cincinnati, they understand that some chili eaters are constipated, and some aren't. They also offer cheese, for those who aren't, but would like to be. And the chili is better than anything in Texas (boiled beef, chocolate, allspice; don't knock it till you've tried it).

rockle
12-14-2005, 11:38 AM
My husband is Mexican. He doesn't eat chili unless it has pinto beans and corn in it. Does that count for anything?

Kolak of Twilo
12-14-2005, 11:45 AM
So who elected Texans the arbiters of good taste? Other Texans, most likely, which negates the hypothesis that no beans=good chili. Black bean chili is the food of the gods. Pintos are okay. Kidney beans are an abomination. So endeth the lesson.

I'm getting the feeling some people dismiss what is referred to as "Texas-style chili" because of distaste for Texas and/or Texans. Just because something has the word Texas attatched to it shouldn't make it automatically suspect. As far as Texans being the arbiter of good taste, I think it should be obvious that chili has been made in the Southwestern U.S. for a longer period of time than in other parts of the country. Doesn't it seem possible that people living in that region for generations might have a little better idea of what has historically been in the dish?

If you look at the link I provided above you will see a couple of chili recipes that are pretty old. One of them is from the late 1800's. No beans are in the recipe. This appears to be more or less the case throughout the southwest.

Obviously, this argument is never going to be settled in anything like a definite way. Fine, you want beans in your chili go ahead and put them in. But I do think there is a strong argument to be made that 150 years ago most chili apparently did not have beans in it.

Personally, I prefer to have the beans, usually pinto beans, cooked and served on the side. If you want to add the beans to the chili or eat them by themselves, fine. I have noticed that cooking the beans in the chili changes the flavor of the dish in a way I don't care for. Sort of a soapy quality. Same goes for using tomato. It makes it too acidic for my taste.

silenus
12-14-2005, 11:53 AM
And the chili is better than anything in Texas (boiled beef, chocolate, allspice; don't knock it till you've tried it).

<Blech!>

I have tried it. Skyline "chili" may be considered food by people in Cincinatti, but not out West. When I ask for a "three-way," I expect something more than "chili" on spaghetti with cheese. :D

Lynn Bodoni
12-14-2005, 12:06 PM
You poor misguided souls. Beans are an abomination to a bowl of red. The proper way to eat chili is to serve it over Fritos® and top with chopped onions, sour cream and cheddar. Without the sour cream, this is known as Frito Chili Pie. I first learned of this dish in Camp Fire Girls. It was popular with both the girls and the leaders, as it tastes good and is very easy to prepare. For many people, it's a comfort food. Try it some cold day.

Kolak of Twilo
12-14-2005, 01:25 PM
You poor misguided souls. Beans are an abomination to a bowl of red. The proper way to eat chili is to serve it over Fritos and top with chopped onions, sour cream and cheddar.Without the sour cream, this is known as Frito Chili Pie. I first learned of this dish in Camp Fire Girls. It was popular with both the girls and the leaders, as it tastes good and is very easy to prepare. For many people, it's a comfort food. Try it some cold day.
I remember as a kid going to Little League games where the concession stand always had Frito Pie. They would take the small bag of Fritos®, cut it lengthwise on one side, glop the chili on top of the chips, add cheese and onion and stick a plastic for in it. A delicious snack in a handy disposable container. Yum.

Kolak of Twilo
12-14-2005, 01:26 PM
Make that "...stick a plastic fork in it..."

silenus
12-14-2005, 01:40 PM
Is there anyplace in the US that didn't have Frito Pie? I, too, remember it fondly at Little League games and local fairs.

rockle
12-14-2005, 01:46 PM
Is there anyplace in the US that didn't have Frito Pie? I, too, remember it fondly at Little League games and local fairs.
I've never heard of it. But it sounds wonderful. Of course, I'm supernaturally fond of Fritos, so.

Beware of Doug
12-14-2005, 01:52 PM
Beans should be an option, as they promote regularity.[size=5]Ick.[size]

Now I don't abhor beans in my chili. But one of the absolute non-negotiable dealbreakers of good cuisine is having to think about it coming out the other end. (Unless that's your kink, of course.)

And the chili is better than anything in TexasNow I like Cincy style. Quite a bit. But it's so different than Texas style that comparing them is pointless unless the object is to fight over the meaning of the word chili.

silenus
12-14-2005, 01:54 PM
First, you get yourself a big bag of Fritos...... :D

Use Wolf Brand chili if you can find it, Dennison's if you can't. Slit the bag length-wise. Ladle in a heaping scoop of hot chili. Top with grated cheese, onions and Tabasco Sauce. It must be eaten with a plastic fork for authenticity. :D

BrainGlutton
12-14-2005, 02:34 PM
Chili was invented in Texas? So, you are saying that Mexicans_who had long been using chili peppers, comino, beef, pork, etc._never thought to cook those things together? Frankly, sir, I find it about as believable that Texans invented chili as I do that Russians invented baseball.

It's generally agreed -- I've never encountered even the slightest dissent on the point -- that chili con carne was invented in Texas. And almost certainly in San Antonio, TX. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chili_con_carne#Origins_and_history There is controversy over exactly when it was invented, and by whom, and why and how, but not where.

Duke of Rat
12-14-2005, 02:43 PM
Chili was invented in Texas? So, you are saying that Mexicans_who had long been using chili peppers, comino, beef, pork, etc._never thought to cook those things together? Frankly, sir, I find it about as believable that Texans invented chili as I do that Russians invented baseball.

Tis a shame. Had you taken the time to click the link in that post, the very first sentence reads

The only thing certain about the origins of chili is that it did not originate in Mexico.

It goes into more depth, as did another link to the history of chili.

Can't help that you don't believe it.

UncleRojelio
12-14-2005, 02:52 PM
I've never heard of it. But it sounds wonderful. Of course, I'm supernaturally fond of Fritos, so.

Hie thee to a Sonic Burger (http://www.sonicdrivein.com/index.jsp) and rejoice!

rockle
12-14-2005, 03:09 PM
Hie thee to a Sonic Burger (http://www.sonicdrivein.com/index.jsp) and rejoice!
Let me tell you why Pennsylvania sucks, sometimes: there is NOT ONE Sonic in the entire state. NOT ONE. However, we do have Fuddrucker's, and they used to have a hamburger that had Fritos in it. Not the same thing, though.

lieu
12-14-2005, 03:09 PM
My husband is Mexican. He doesn't eat chili unless it has pinto beans and corn in it. Does that count for anything?I make three kinds of chili and one of 'em has corn in it. While I understand a purist hesitating to call that chili, dang if a chihuahua won't break a #4 chain trying to get to it.

Duke of Rat
12-14-2005, 03:14 PM
I like to put chili into cornbread batter and bake it right into the cornbread. I don't call it chili when it comes out of the oven. I also like to put a square of cheese into the center of cornbread muffins.

Chili is chili. I don't see why you can't have chili with beans, chili with corn, chili with watermellon if that's what you like. It all starts off as chili.

Kolak of Twilo
12-14-2005, 04:36 PM
Chili was invented in Texas? So, you are saying that Mexicans_who had long been using chili peppers, comino, beef, pork, etc._never thought to cook those things together? Frankly, sir, I find it about as believable that Texans invented chili as I do that Russians invented baseball.
Oh, you make me laugh.

I guess you couldn't bother to read the link The Duke of Rat provided, huh? If you had you would have read this:
If there is any doubt about what the Mexicans think about chili, the Diccionario de Mejicanismos, published in 1959, defines chili con carne as (roughly translated):

“detestable food passing itself off as Mexican, sold in the U.S. from Texas to New York.”
Then of course why would anyone on these boards be interested in learning something new? :D

Scumpup
12-14-2005, 04:42 PM
Oh, you make me laugh.

I guess you couldn't bother to read the link The Duke of Rat provided, huh? If you had you would have read this:

Then of course why would anyone on these boards be interested in learning something new? :D

It is oft said on these boards that Wiki is not the most trustworthy of sources. My own opinion is that thoughTexans may wish to claim a stew of meat an peppers as something they were the first ones to ever cook, it is unlikely to be the case.

Kolak of Twilo
12-14-2005, 04:59 PM
It is oft said on these boards that Wiki is not the most trustworthy of sources. My own opinion is that thoughTexans may wish to claim a stew of meat an peppers as something they were the first ones to ever cook, it is unlikely to be the case.
OMG! You are a comedian, right?

It is obvious you didn't look at either link.

Not the one I referred to.

Not the one Duke of Rat provided.

How do I know? Easy. Neither one is from Wikipedia.

C'mon lil' Scumpup. Open your mind and read something that might conflict with what you already think is correct. It won't hurt all that much.

pulykamell
12-14-2005, 05:11 PM
OMG! You are a comedian, right?

It is obvious you didn't look at either link.

Not the one I referred to.

Not the one Duke of Rat provided.

How do I know? Easy. Neither one is from Wikipedia.

C'mon lil' Scumpup. Open your mind and read something that might conflict with what you already think is correct. It won't hurt all that much.

Well, although I agree with much of your posts here, I'm not completely convinced yet that chili is distinctly Mexican. The only reason I have doubt is that there's a dish called "Carne con chile colorado" (Meat with red chiles) that I've seen in various Mexican cookbooks (Zarela Martinez's "Food From My Heart" comes to mind). It is very similar to chili con carne, with cumin, hot peppers, and meat all stewed together. No beans. No tomatoes.

However, I do not know if carne con chile colorado is simply chili con carne finding its way back down to Mexico. I don't have time right now to Google all this, but maybe some intrepid soul will be able to tell us whether carne con chile is part of traditional Mexican cuisine or simply contemporary Mexican cuisine.

pulykamell
12-14-2005, 05:14 PM
Well, although I agree with much of your posts here, I'm not completely convinced yet that chili is distinctly Mexican

"Distinctly Texan," I mean. It seems that "Carne con chile colorado" is indigenous to Sonora, from what I can dig up, and may, in fact, predate Texas chili.

Kolak of Twilo
12-14-2005, 05:37 PM
"Distinctly Texan," I mean. It seems that "Carne con chile colorado" is indigenous to Sonora, from what I can dig up, and may, in fact, predate Texas chili.
I won't claim that there is any real way of knowing who actually invented chili. The closest I would get is to say it is distinctly Southwestern in origin rather than Texan. Honestly I would be suprised if there isn't a Mexican dish similar to chili. I'm more interested in the no-bean issue rather than whether it orginated in Texas.

I also recall one of those links above making reference to Canary Islanders in San Antonio having something to do with the early development of the dish we know today as chili. So that takes it in a different direction.

And I do prefer the variety known as Texas-style chili.

That being said - I simply find it amusing how worked up people like Scumpup get without actually reading the linked articles. My comment about him being a comedian was about how obvious it was that he hadn't read them. He assumed they were Wiki articles and on that basis dismissed anything they had to say, sight unseen.

Khadaji
12-14-2005, 05:59 PM
I hate beans. I eat around them. So for me: No.

Agnostic Pagan
12-14-2005, 07:36 PM
When people tell me that real chili has no tomatoes, my reply is, "Maybe, but real good chili does." Exactly. (Like I'm gonna argue with Odinoneye - he'll send Thor, or worse, Loki after my ass.)
It has always been my impression that beans were cheap filler for chili. You make it with meat - and if the budget is kinda tight you stretch the chili by adding beans.That's my understanding also. My mom is Tex-Mex, and always added pinto beans. And tomatoes. She knew what 'real' chili was, but always made the 'real good' chili.

Not only do I put beans in my chili.

But I put celery too.

So there. You are hereby banned from using the word chili. (me loves celery, but in chili?!?!?!)
Is there anyplace in the US that didn't have Frito Pie? I, too, remember it fondly at Little League games and local fairs.We called 'em just plain ole chili bags. Lunch size Fritos in the foil bag, add chili, cheese and onions. MmmmmmHmmmmm. Six happy kids dancing in the kitchen, and a whole lot less dishes to wash that night. One of mom's 'I dont feel like cooking tonight' staples.

And finally, it ain't chili if there is no cornbread on the side (made in a cast iron skillet).


AP

Kolak of Twilo
12-14-2005, 08:12 PM
And finally, it ain't chili if there is no cornbread on the side (made in a cast iron skillet).


AP
You'd have to be slower than molasses on a morning in January to ever argue 'bout cornbread.

Chefguy
12-14-2005, 08:28 PM
I'm getting the feeling some people dismiss what is referred to as "Texas-style chili" because of distaste for Texas and/or Texans.

Well....duh.

As far as Texans being the arbiter of good taste, I think it should be obvious that chili has been made in the Southwestern U.S. for a longer period of time than in other parts of the country. Doesn't it seem possible that people living in that region for generations might have a little better idea of what has historically been in the dish?

If you look at the link I provided above you will see a couple of chili recipes that are pretty old. One of them is from the late 1800's. No beans are in the recipe. This appears to be more or less the case throughout the southwest.

Obviously, this argument is never going to be settled in anything like a definite way. Fine, you want beans in your chili go ahead and put them in. But I do think there is a strong argument to be made that 150 years ago most chili apparently did not have beans in it.



Well, see, now here we have the old 'intelligent design' versus 'evolution' argument. Chili may have been invented in Texas, but it's now evolved into a higher lifeform. Texas being what it is, and Texans being what they are, intelligent design is just, well, out of the realm of reality. I mean, c'mon. Chili has finally crawled out of the slime, muck, and primordial tasteless ooze that was Texas chili and become a gloriously beany, thinking, modern chiliness. History, shmistory, pal.

Odinoneeye
12-14-2005, 08:35 PM
No they're not, but good chili has both. Then again, it depends on your tolerance for heat. The chili may have been beyond your heat tolerance and the flavor may have been lost on you. This is not a criticism of you, just that one man's spicy is another man's mild.

Nope, it wasn't too hot. It just didn't have any flavor. That's why I say real chili may not have tomatoes, but real good chili does. That's where the flavor comes from.

pulykamell
12-14-2005, 09:50 PM
Nope, it wasn't too hot. It just didn't have any flavor. That's why I say real chili may not have tomatoes, but real good chili does. That's where the flavor comes from.

And I respectfully disagree. I think the taste comes from the type and quality of the meat, the fat (I like suet or lard), and spice mixture.

Scumpup
12-14-2005, 09:52 PM
My bad. I had two threads open at once and was reading a wiki article attached to the other and foolishly conflated the two threads. Obviously, multitasking isn't my strong suit. I have since read the whatscooking article on chili. You know what? I still don't buy the idea that meat cooked with peppers and spices had to wait until a Texan thought of it. As for being upset about it, you must be thinking of someone else. This is, at most, an idle discussion of where a stew had its origin.

Kolak of Twilo
12-14-2005, 10:09 PM
I hear you Scumpup. Like I said earlier it seems to me it is more appropriate to consider it a Southwestern dish that is distinct in some ways from Mexican or Native American cuisine. Texans get the bragging rights because it seems they did a pretty good job marketing it. And they are good at bragging. Maybe it started there, maybe it didn't. My issue is more about the question of beans in the chili as opposed to being served on the side. I still prefer chili w/o them and I do mean well seasoned, slow-cooked, rich with meat chili. For me the beans are just a distraction.

coffeecat
12-16-2005, 05:40 PM
So, what's a good Texas chili recipe? Mine's out of The Joy of Cooking: equal parts hamburger and beans, with canned tomatoes, etc. Lead a Yankee into the light.

silenus
12-16-2005, 05:45 PM
I kinda like this one (http://www.chilicookoff.com/Winner/wc_1979.asp). But look around the site...all sorts of heresies have won over the years. :D

chaparralv8
12-16-2005, 10:56 PM
Beans cost 10 cents per pound.
Ground beef costs a dollar and change per pound.

If you cook chili right, you should not be able to tell what the filler is by taste. The part of your mouth that can tell animal protein from legume protein should be on fire...

drewder
05-02-2013, 04:45 PM
I think this can easily be resolved by checking the rules of the international chili society. http://www.chilicookoff.com/Event/Event_Rules.asp
You can disagree all you want but it's a bit like saying you are playing baseball but requiring the players to hit the ball into a soccer net to have it counted as a home run.

kaylasdad99
05-02-2013, 05:12 PM
I think this can easily be resolved by checking the rules of the international chili society. http://www.chilicookoff.com/Event/Event_Rules.asp
You can disagree all you want but it's a bit like saying you are playing baseball but requiring the players to hit the ball into a soccer net to have it counted as a home run.Soooo...WITHOUT for the ICS-sanctioned Traditional Red and Chili Verde, and WITH for PEOPLE'S CHOICE chili?

ETA:Beans cost 10 cents per pound.
Ground beef costs a dollar and change per pound.If seeing a couple of BANNED posters upthread hadn't clued me in that this is a zombie thread, the quote above surely would have.