Saturday, November 14, 2009
Is Chili Soup? The Results are in!
Earlier this week I was listening to a local NPR show called “The Walt Bodeen Show” (famous in KC) and they brought up an interesting question, “Is Chili Soup?” They dithered on this point one host claiming chili is its own category and another saying it is just a kind of soup.
So I began to ponder this question myself, and to see what my fellow foody friends thought I asked the same question on Twitter and face book. The response was quite large. I saw heated comments and discussions and lots of great answers. However no one offered proof, just opinion. So I did some research. Now if you type is chili soup into google, you may be shocked at the amount of results you get to this seemingly innocuous question. I saw Blogs, and Polls, and definitions and ‘Yahoo answers’ galore, but all of them differed!
So here is what we learned. By dictionary definition, a soup, stew, and chili are all the same thing. The wording is all very similar, but the components are identical: A DISH MADE OF MEAT, FISH OR OTHER INGREDIENTS THAT IS ‘STEWED/BOILED/COOKED’ esp. meat and vegetables. So the answer I have for you is simple Technically Chili is soup, but due to its huge following and cultural importance, it is often thought of as a dish all of its own. This should make everyone happy!
Now I also learned that Chili, comes in many styles some are almost so thick they appear to be meat and seasoning and some come very liquidy with lots of broth. In some places when chili becomes liquidy they start to call it a stew, but in other places, an extremely thick chili is never even seen, so what is real chili? They both are! The definition of chili for each person changes not only by region but also often by family heritage, how did your mom makes chili, or how did the diner down the road make chili. Personally I like both soupy and chunky chili, I prefer it to be thick when used in Nachos or a Coney but stewy when made by mom or dad in the old crock-pot!
How do you make your chili? Did you learn your recipe from a family member or friends, or did you get it from the media?