Chili – A Has Bean?
With people so passionate about chili, it’s no surprise that the
bean or not-to-bean controversy is as hot as the peppers that are at
the heart of this beloved dish. While discussing the basics of
making other staples and comfort foods like meatloaf and macaroni
and cheese never come to fisticuffs, those who take cooking up this
concoction seriously are prepared to fight to a mouth-blistering
The origins of this delicious dish are not precise. Although it
is usually classified as a Mexican specialty, there isn’t any
concrete evidence that its roots lie south of the Rio Grande. It’s
likely that Spanish settlers in the American Southwest were the
first to come up with the hearty stew by combining native peppers,
tomatoes, onions, seasonings and venison. At some point, possibly
when a creative cook with a lot of hungry cowboys to feed could not
wrestle up enough meat, beans were added as an extender. True Texas
chili started out without and is still 100 % bean-free. Itâs a
matter of pride. Period.
Once you leave the Lone Star state, chefs are free to add pinto,
black or kidney beans to the mix. Each type of bean has its unique
flavor, and its faithful fans. And while the original recipes called
for game – antelope or deer meat – today’s chili is more likely to
There are also many vegan versions, some using crumbled
vegetarian burgers in place of meat, and some meaty mixes that range
from mildly to wildly exotic. Anyone up for a bowl of chicken,
rattlesnake or gator goulash? Beans aside, chili is either hot,
hotter or the hottest thing that you can eat and live to talk about.
The heat factor stems from a double shot of hot chili peppers –
fresh from the farm and dried or powdered. Red or white; chipotle,
ño, cayenne or serrano,
each ingredient will make you say, Viva chili!