Monday, November 22, 2010

Chili Takedown

Empty cups after serious chili tasting

Tasting chili is a unique and daunting experience especially if you are hungry and it is cold outside. I took on the challenge and was determined to be objective and strict at the same time. I tasted 28 different chili samples. I eliminated 25 during the first round and re-tasted the three that scored very high, then the following three runner ups. Some were way too spicy, that overpowered the remaining ingredients so the chili wasn't in perfect balanced.  I tasted innovative recipes (chili with rice and coconut milk) which failed to deliver the authenticity of the chili dish. Finally, some were too salty, too creamy, too "vegetarian" or just unbalanced.
My winners were number 9, a chili made with venison, smoked ham, chocolate, italian sausage - a perfect blend and hot enough for everybody. Number 13 was the perfect traditional chili everybody would love and number 17 was hickory smoked, a tasty alternative. I also liked the Caribbean chili and the Vietnamese chili for their "twist".

Plates full with chili samples to taste

Before starting tasting - first batch!

Tasting chili is a tough job!

My winner -chili number 9 (read for the ingredients)

This is number 9 again!

chili number 4

More chili competitors....

Vietnamese chili

My winners!