What defines the dish called chili? Does it always have to have one common ingredient to all chili's? Being from Texas I see a big steaming bowl of dark red chili topped with cheese and onions. I see cornbread sitting beside it or saltine crackers nearby. Next to it is a huge glass of ice tea with lemon in a wide mouth quart jar. My senses are excited by the strong smell of the spices and the sweet smell of the tomatoes.
I have learned to not be so critical of other's chili fantasies. Some people feel the need to add various beans to the rich, deep pot of chili. This does add to the quanity you have to feed a crowd and adds great fiber content to your diet. I may loose my Authentic Texan status but I have been known to add beans to my chili and ...call it Chili Beans. I am learning to adapt to changes slowly but chili is my sacred dish!
There are those who are very misguided and actually use chicken in their chili. Chicken is not meant for chili...period. I love those of you who do this but please I can't in good faith be a part of you calling that chili! Now I've had great soup in the Midwest with chicken, chili spices, and great veggies in it that could be called...Chicken Enchilada soup or Mexican Chicken Stew. And if anyone needs to borrow my hot peppers to give it some kick I would be glad to help!!!
Being born in Texas it was a food shock to me to move to other areas of our country. In Colorado I learned all about Hatch Chili peppers. I am a huge fan of these peppers now. I have some roasted and in my freezer for Green Chili Stew. In Missouri I discovered true Italian food on the famous Hill in St.Louis, the wonderful Nicoletti's Pasta con Broccoli, and the irreplaceable Provel cheese and Zia'a Sweet Italian Dressing...Only made in St.Louis. In Nebraska the fresh corn in late summer is so sweet and juicy it runs down your chin when you take a bite. Have to buy it straight from the farmer to get it the freshest. So regardless of where you land in life..there is always good food and memories to make.