What makes a "chili" a "chili"?

With so many variations popping up around this time of year (Go Saints!), I want to know what's required to constitute a true chili. Sources say it's all about the chili powder, so if I add it to my black bean soup, is it a chili now? Or if I take it out my buffalo turkey chili, is it still chili? Isn't it all just stew?

I mean, it was news to me about 5 years ago that a lot of people don't like beans in their chili, and I always thought that was a key ingredient. I just want to get this straight before I send my Superbowl invites :) I'm a culinary grad, but they didn't cover this in Soups, Stocks & Sauces...


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