Coming back to a hot topic
A couple of years ago, I posted a lengthy explanation of the semantic distinctions of two words, Chile vs. chili
. In particular, I focused on the New Mexico definitions (drawn from the Albuquerque Journal
style guide), which differ from the definitions in the rest of the world. In most places, the word chili
is used interchangeably, but in New Mexico, chile
with an e
at the end refers to the fruit of the capsicum plant, while chili
refers to a stew made using chiles. I also posted a recipe.
Of course, there are discussions also about the composition of chili (the stew). Some people disagree about whether the meat in it should be beef or pork, or whether either is acceptable (I prefer coarse-ground pork, but I’ll use beef if that’s what’s available). And then beans are a huge area of contention. Some people say that chili should not have any beans, while others say chili must have beans, and among the bean proponents, there is disagreement about what sorts of beans are acceptable – pinto beans only, or other sorts, such as kidney beans, black beans, or navy beans. (I like kidney beans myself.)
And then there’s that other form of chili found in Cincinnati, which doesn’t have so much chile in it (but does apparently include cinnamon and – surprise – chocolate?) and which is served over pasta and topped with grated cheese and chopped onions. I remember watching a Monday Night Football game during which John Madden gave Cincinnati chili a resounding endorsement. I’m going to have to try it someday.
One update on the recipe in the link above: Since I wrote that post, the Chimayo chile production plant has been bought by Bueno Foods, and the former Chimayo brand is now available as the Bueno Select product line.
Labels: beer, desert, food, grammar, journalism, new mexico, observations