Our friend Norma, who lives with husband Bill in McClean, Virginia close to Washington DC, has given me permission to reproduce her wonderfully detailed survey of chili traditions.
Tempting one day to cruise the Chili Trail!
Do you know that “Chili” was strictly a “Gringo” invention? The only chili the Mexicans know is the sauce. It was the ranchers and cowboys who first started putting together the recipe, mostly to cover up stale meat while out on the trail drive. They also needed the extra protein while on the long cattle drives north to St. Louis, Kansan City and then Chicago. People in the southwest don’t add beans to their chili. That is a Midwest way to do it. Cincinnati cilli has a dash of cinnamon.
Bar-B-Q: Texas Bar-B-Q is always dry. They rub seasonings and spices on the raw meat, put it on a grill and smoke it slowly until it is done.Memphis and Kansas City Bar-B-Q is “wet” cooked in a sauce until it falls of the bone. Most of them start with a tomato base sauce. Also includes vinegar, molasses & paprika.
St. Louis has mustard and brown sugar.Thanks, Norma!Anyone care to add other chili wisdom?