It’s autumn in the US, which means it’s chili cookoff season.
Last weekend I attended the 2016 Belleville Chili Cook-Off. I’m not a chili connoisseur, but I like opportunities to try a lot of different things side by side, so I was excited to attend the event.
My one big concern for events like this are crowds. I really don’t like having to squeeze through a crowd or shout over a crowd. I like my space. And I have to say, the chili cook-off was packed.
However, the variety of chili mostly made up for the subpar environment (plus, it was good to see so many people show up for some good, wholesome fun). You could buy a little sample ramekan for $0.50–I probably ate 8-10 of them over the course of the evening, so I was full enough that I didn’t even buy a full bowl.
The vast majority of the options were red chili (tomato-based), ranging from sweet to salty to smokey (I prefer my chili to be savory, not sweet). But by far my favorite chili was the white chili with chicken.
It’s one of those dishes that instantly transported me back to my childhood (figuratively, that is–though if white chili is the secret to time travel, sign me up!). My mom used to make the most delicious, rich white chili with chicken. I’ve asked her to write down the recipe so I can try to make it from home. Of all the things I’ve cooked, I don’t think I’ve ever made chili.
Obviously this chili cook-off was a big festival, but some people have smaller competitions at their homes or offices. Have you ever done that? What’s your favorite type of chili?