Earlier this Fall, I was part of a group that attended a chili cook-off in the Lake Norman area. Good food, outside, with all the proceeds going to charity – what a great way to spend part of a Saturday afternoon, right?
Soon after I began tasting the different samples, I noticed a trend: the chili seemed sweet and not very spicy. The more I tasted, the more I noticed it. The chili even reminded me a little of some Brunswick stews I’ve eaten. The rest of my group said the same thing: the chili was a little too sweet for our tastes.
A week after that event, I was having a conversation with someone about (what else?) chili. I mentioned that I’d just been to a cookoff and noticed something I considered unusual about the local way of making chili. Before I could say anything else, he asked “It’s really sweet, isn’t it?”
His response told me perhaps what I was noticing was a geographical difference. This person is a Pennsylania native. Those of us who attended the chili cook-off are all Midwest natives.
So, is there a ‘Southern’ way of making chili that’s different than chili made in other parts of the country?
Have you noticed the same thing I did? Did you like it? Have you changed the way you made chili after moving to the South?