Chili-Revealing Secrets

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Revealing Some Chili Secrets

Cola companies keep
their secret recipe under lock and key. In some successful
restaurant franchises, even the cooks don’t know what ingredients go
into their special sauce or seasoning mix. And when it comes to
chili, there are many well-kept secrets, too.
Since chili is such a popular dish, it’s no surprise that
competition for bragging rights, and big prizes, are often held at
county and state fairs, and in national chili cook-offs. Once a cook
decides to complete, the secrets are revealed. Judges at the highest
level of competition just don’t buy that “I add a little bit of
love” description on a list of ingredients submitted by a

In some families,
chili recipes bearing secret ingredients are passed down through the
generations. While some secrets are just common sense methods of
adjusting cooking time or heat, or changing the order of adding
ingredients, others were discovered quite by accident – a cook made
a mistake and somehow that change made a big hit. Still others
appeared out of desperation – a chef had to improvise and substitute
ingredients when he discovered he was all out of something.

Some of the secrets
that have been shared by contest winners are quite obvious. Take
meat, for example. It’s no surprise that when a recipe calls for
beef and the cook uses ground chuck, a cheaper cut, she won’t get
the million-dollar results that a chili champion gets when using
chopped sirloin steak.

The most
fascinating secret ingredients are the ones that are unexpected and
quite stealthy. After sampling one of these award-winning chilis,
you’ll know it’s got something special added. But identifying the
component that gives the chili a new twist can be difficult.
So what are some of the formerly best-kept secret ingredients? A
teaspoon of cocoa, a cup of coffee, a cinnamon stick and a dollop of
peanut butter.

These so called
secret ingredients might sound a bit strange, but who can argue with

Written By
Danna Vach