I want that chili trophy
October 26, 2011 10:58 AM Subscribe
I'd like to win a chili cookoff. So that I can be armed with information about what appeals to the broadest audience, please tell me about your favorite chili.
I'm participating in a chili cookoff in a couple weeks and would like to maximize my chances of winning. I like the chili I usually make, but it's pretty tailored to my own tastes. I'd like to know more about what appeals to mainstream eaters who may be voting in a chili cookoff.
Questions I have about what appeals to the biggest common denominator: What kind of meat do you prefer -- ground beef, chuck, shredded beef? Tomatoes or not tomatoes? Thick, or thin? And, if you prefer it thick, do you prefer it thick with stuff, or thickened with something (some use a roux, some use masa)? Do you like visible vegetables, or just meat? Beer, or no beer? Because these answers certainly vary by region, I should point out that I'm in Northern California.
One thing I will be doing for certain is grinding my own chiles. One thing I won't be doing is making a cookoff-style chile (powdered spices and canned stock for predictability). I also won't be doing vegetarian (my personal preference), because they're lumped into the same category and I don't think a vegetarian chili would win.
This cookoff is for a school fundraiser. The judges are just folks (I think it's popular vote) -- not ICS judges.
I'm also wondering if making a unique recipe might be more advantageous than making a more traditional chili. Thoughts on which you'd pick, if you had to?