Texas Chili Cookoff’s!
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Texas Chili Cookoffs
Texas is known for its food contests, with chili and barbecue often taking the spotlight.
The lone star state has a long history of ethnic contributions to its culinary cuisine, due to the many nationalities that settled there in the 19th century. Culinary influence in Texas includes German, Czech, Mexican and Native American, just to name a few. One byproduct of all these nationalities settling in one place is the incredible variety of diverse food now available. As a result, Texas is very food focused, and many food-oriented activities abound, but the most famous of these activities are those dedicated to celebrating the “soup of the Devil’ or “God’s Gift to Texas,” chili
The Big Event
Texas hosts many chili competitions, including the grandaddy of all chili cook-offs in Terlingua, Texas, the Wick Fowler Memorial World Championship Chili Cookoff. Four days of celebrations highlight this international foodie event, with the annual chili cook off held on the last day. Before the main event, families can enjoy bands, smaller cooking competitions and games. There’s even a margarita mix off and a big raffle with prizes. As with most sanctioned chili cook offs, the Terlingua International Chili Championship donates a substantial amount of money, mostly from entry fees, to charity.
It’s no wonder why chili is so popular in Texas. While a bit of controversy exists over who made the first chili, there’s no doubt it originated in the South West, likely because of the abundant supply of both meat and chilies. In 1977, the Texas legislature declared chili to be the official state food of Texas. A publication called the Goat Gap Gazette, the definitive tabloid about chili, is distributed out of Brookesmith, Texas. About the only well-known chili cook-off that’s not in Texas is the Lone Star Chili Cook-off that’s held in New York City. Texans are proud of their chili, even though some say chili powder makes you carzy.
The International Chili Society has strict rules about what constitutes as chili. Traditional red chili is made with any kind of meat, red chili peppers and spices, but must not contain any beans, rice or pasta. The only difference between this and chili verde is that green chili peppers are used. In Texas, it’s not unusual for those in chili cook-offs to use outrageous meats such as boar, rattlesnake, armadillo or bear. Some chili cook-offs allow chili with beans or vegetarian chili, but the major ones in Texas are usually focused on tradition.
Smaller Chili Adventures
Leading up to the world chili competition in Texas are several smaller but still renowned cook-offs. Known as the Olympics of chili contests, the Chilympiad was established in 1970 in San Marcos, Texas. Because no female chefs are allowed to compete in this event, another cook-off called Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned was established specifically for women in the same area. No matter what the event, chili cook-offs are lively and a definite celebration for Texas chiliheads and regular folks from around the world.
So it’s not really about chili anyway. Both cookoffs turned into a party, so now there are competing parties. So, once a year – on the first weekend in November — Terlingua is the biggest city in all of the Big Bend AND the biggest party.
(Please note, that Judge 3 is a news reporter who wanted to be a Cookoff Judge, so he could write it from experience)
Here are the official scorecards from a “Cookoff”:
~~ Chili #1: Mike’s Maniac Mobster Monster Chili ~~
Judge #1 — “A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.” Judge #2 — “Nice smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.” Judge #3 — (Frank) “HOLY SHIT! What the hell is this stuff? You can remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that’s the worst one. These Texans are crazy!
~~ Chili #2: Arthur’s Afterburner Chili ~~
Judge #1 — “Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeño tang.” Judge #2 — “Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.” Judge #3 — (Frank) “Keep this out of the reach of children! I’m not sure what I’m supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.”
~~ Chili #3: Fred’s Famous Burn Down the Barn Chili ~~
Judge #1 — Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick. Needs more beans. Judge #2 — A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of peppers. Judge #3 — Call the EPA. I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front of my chest. I’m getting shit-faced from all of the beer.
~~ Chili #4: Bubba’s Black Magic ~~
Judge #1– Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing. Judge #2 — Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili. Judge #3 — I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the barmaid, was standing behind me with fresh cold beer refills. That 400-lb. bitch is starting to look HOT… just like this nuclear waste I’m eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?
~~ Chili #5: Linda’s Legal Lip Remover ~~
Judge #1 — Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive. Judge #2 — Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement. Judge #3 — My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I’m burning my lips off. It really pisses me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw those rednecks
~~ Chili #6: Vera’s Very Vegetarian Variety ~~
Judge #1 — Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers. Judge #2 — The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb. Judge #3 — My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I shit myself when I farted and I’m worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that slut Sally. She must be kinkier than I thought. Can’t feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my ass with a snow cone.
~~ Chili #7: Susan’s Screaming Sensation Chili ~~
Judge #1 — A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers. Judge #2 — Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should take note that I am worried about Judge #3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably. Judge #3 — You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I’ve lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili which slid unnoticed over my lips and out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava-like shit to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing, its too painful. Screw it, I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.
~~ Chili #8: Toe-Nail Curling Chili ~~
Judge #1 — The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence. Judge #2 — This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when the third Judge passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he’s going to make it. Poor dude, wonder how he’d have reacted to really hot chili. Judge #3 — ?
Award-Winning Texas Chili
Debbie Ashman, winner of the Terlingua International Chili Championship, has a 22-pound jalapeño statue that proves her chili is the world’s best. Scroll down for her “hot rod” recipe.
- 2 lbs. of coarsely ground meat
- 1 8 oz. can of “El Pato” tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz. can of beef broth
Mix the following spices for dump 1:
- 1 Tbsp onion powder*
- 2 tsp garlic powder*
- 2 tsp beef crystals
- 1 tsp of chicken crystals
- 1 Tbsp of Pacific Beauty Paprika*
- 1 Tbsp of Mexene Chili Powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne*
- 1/4 tsp black pepper*
- 1 package Sazon Goya*
Mix the following spices for dump 2:
- 1 Tbsp of Mexene Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp of Hatch Mild Chili Powder*
- 2 Tbsp Cowtown Light chili powder*
- 1 Tbsp Mild Bills dark chili powder*
- 1 tsp cumin*
- 1/4 tsp white pepper*
Mix the following spices for dump 3:
- 1 tsp onion powder*
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne*
- 3/4 Tbsp Cowtown Light Chili Powder*
- 1 Tbsp cumin*
Instructions; Gray the meat and drain grease. 2. Slow boil meat in beef broth and 1 equal can of distilled water. 3. Add dump 1 and medium boil for 60 minutes. 4. Add dump 2 and medium boil for 45 minutes. 5. Add dump 3 and medium boil for 15 minutes. In last five minutes taste for heat — adjust as required.* These spices available from Mild Bill’s Spices, etc.
1 TBS Mild Bills Onion Granules
1 TBS Mild Bills Garlic Granules
1 TBS Beef Granules
1 TBS Chicken Granules
1 TBS Mild Bills San Antonio Original Chili Power
1 TBS Mexene Chili Power
1/8 tsp Salt
2 Dashes Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 tsp Garlic Granules
1 TBS Cumin Mild Bills
1 Package Sazon Goya
1 TBS Cowtown Light Chili Power Mild Bills
1 TBS Mexene Chili Power
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Dashes Louisiana Hot Sauce
Brown 2 lbs of Chili Grind drain off grease add 1 can beef broth, ½ can chicken broth, and add 1 ½ cans of tomato sauce. Bring up to a boil and then reduce heat to a slow simmer for 40 min. Add 1st Dump and simmer for 40 min. then add 2nd Dump cook on low heat for 25 min. Taste you may have to add salt and if it’s too hot, add 1/8 tsp brown sugar if needed.