Community picks best chili

by Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Feb 19, 2014 - 01:52 PM

Photo: Ron Lambert, cook-off chairman, left, presents the judges’ choice award trophy to Tom Shoemaker of the Knights of Columbus.

Ron Lambert, cook-off chairman, left, presents the judges’ choice award trophy to Tom Shoemaker of the Knights of Columbus.

Photo: Sharon Coulter serves her vegetarian chili at the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad’s booth.

Sharon Coulter serves her vegetarian chili at the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad’s booth.

Chili is a stew-like soup made entirely with meat and chilies or chili powder (or both); and according to what section of the United States that you live in, it can also include beans. Chili “con carne” means it’s made “with meat.”

From the time the first person on earth mixed some chili peppers with meat and cooked them, the great chili debate was on; it’s more of war, in fact. The desire to brew up the best bowl of chili continues.

As part of this battle, the recent Help Us Help Others Super Bowl Chili Cook-Off, first of its kind, was held at the Piankatank Ruritan Club at Hudgins. The contest was sponsored by the Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad. Six local organizations were there to prove they could make the very best chili, knowing they didn’t have to use just standard ingredients. There was turkey chili, vegetarian chili, hot chili and mild chili. Most of the chilies included beans but, by the way, in Texas you could be exiled by adding beans to chili.

Two awards were made, the judges’ choice and the people’s choice. 

Judging on the basic rules set forth by the International Chili Society: It should smell good, it should have a nice, even consistency, it should have a reddish-brown color, it should taste good, it should have a pleasant after-taste and after-burn. Keep in mind the Judge’s Creed: Each and every cook out there has worked hard all day to put together the very best pot of chili they could. Keep that in mind and take your time. Be as fair and impartial with each of these chilies as each of them is vitally important.

The judges chose the Knights of Columbus’s chili.