I will never walk away from a great bowl of chili. I have a recipe I like which, for the record, contains beans which I know is a controversial topic. Much like a dry rub or wet sauce on BBQ ribs, it all depends on where you are from.

I also like my chili over a baked potato and that is not because of Wendy's. My grandmother was Irish everything went over a potato. Rice comes in a close second. I never eat a bowl of chili without what I refer to as a base, the potato or the rice.

The History of Chili

Chili is one of those foods most people will agree is delicious. Of course the agreement on whether it has beans or not continues. So where did chili originate?

crock pots for chili cookoff
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According to All Recipes, it has a variety of origins including one that involves Aztecs eating a human sacrifice with peppers and ingredients which would have technically made it chili. More modern accounts bring it into the 1800s and credit Texas with what we call chili today.

Local Ingredient Chili Festival Returns to New Paltz

The cool thing about chili recipes is that they do take on regional flavors and ingredients. Take the Local Ingredient Challenge that is happening in New Paltz on March 16th, 2024 at Water Street Market.

Water Street Market via Facebook
Water Street Market via Facebook

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For the most part, all the chilis that day will be similar in concept but they will all take on a flavor of their own based on the chef that is making it. The only requirement is that chili include at least five local Hudson Valley ingredients. This means that some chili creators will use local veggies while others pick local proteins and spices.

Water Street Market the Site of the 15th Annual Local Ingredients Chili Challenge

If you have a recipe and want to join in the fun, you will have to commit to making at least 5 gallons of your chili.

The event is Saturday, March 16th from 12 PM to 3 PM and there are awards given out in various categories.

Muss Puddle Coffee Roasters and Cafe via Facebook
Muss Puddle Coffee Roasters and Cafe via Facebook

There is room for 20 cooks so don't wait to sign up. Contact Theresa Fall at terryfall@gmail.com. If you are planning to just attend, the event is free but samples are for sale. All of the proceeds benefit St. Joseph's non-denominational food pantry.

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