A Real Texas Chili, Eh!

I have been researching chili recipes, cook off traditions and scoring etiquette in preparation for next Sundays bash at the T/J's.

The debate in our house over beans or no beans has been raging for years (unrelated to the chili cook off next week I might add).  Never having lived or even been in Texas, my authentic Mexican chili (according to the German recipe book I gleaned it from) includes beans.  Action Jackson, born and bred north of the 49th, claims to know the secret of a real Texan chili...and insists there are no beans in a Texan chili.  Action Jackson must know - he did live a while in Texas! Heck, I thought chili was Mexican.

Well, the Texan's do take there chili seriously.  And not having beans in it is a matter of pride.  As Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the United States said: "Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing. One of the first things I do when I get home to Texas is to have a bowl of red. There is simply nothing better." 

Hm, we shall see!  I did discover that even though Texan's lay claim to the original chili, the tradition seems influenced by immigrants from Spain and Macedonia, among others.  The Mexican's meanwhile have this to say (in the Diccionario de Mejicanismos, published in 1959): “detestable food passing itself off as Mexican, sold in the U.S. from Texas to New York”

I am certainly looking forward to dinner on Sunday!


mudrunner's picture

Beans are filler!

They are not food! Just spoke with a buddy in Austin, Texas & he said "No hombre worth his peppers would pollute a perfectly good chili by embellishing it with legumes. That's just un-Texan!...& there must be Lone Star beer present!". So sayeth the Texan.
Sibylle's picture

Ok, Ok, I get it ;-)

Texan chili's do not contain beans, got it (ActionJackson and Mudrunner!)  But hey, my recipe is German and claims Mexican origins...and I have perfected it over time with a variety of secret ingredients!  Still not decided if I go for my tried and true and yummy recipe or look for an authentic Texan chili complete with shredded armadillo meat.  Apparently, anything with ground meat is an insult to a Texan chili connoisseur...
Rick Arikado's picture

No beans here

Gotta agree with Action & Muddy ...no beans. Not to say that beans, veggies and even pasta make for a great chili pepper & meat stew, it just needs a different name than "chili". No ground meat either, hand cut in tiny little cubes. My guess is that this dish has more history in San Antonio, Texas than Mexico.
mudrunner's picture

I'm no purist...

...nor am I Texan. Variety is the spice of life.
Sibylle's picture

Phew! What a relief ;-)

Phew! What a relief ;-)

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