A Tale of Two Chilis

Chili Con Carne is a quintessential American food. Relatively inexpensive, easy to prepare, and able to accommodate an infinite number of variations while remaining essentially the same dish, it lends itself to individual cooks adding their secret ingredients and chili cook-offs where anyone can cook up a batch and compete with fellow chili-heads. Furthermore, it…

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Meditations on Unity and Depth of Flavor: The Dark Phenomenology of Chili

Kenji Lopez-Alt’s chili has great depth, unity and intensity. Instead of distinct flavor notes, the long, slow, simmering melds flavors into a unity in which all contrasting flavors are submerged in an impression of intense meatiness. None of the strongly-flavored ingredients maintain their identity. Yet that unity is not achieved through simplification. The broth is dark and…

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