By Maxie Pierce, from Kylie Logan’s “Chili Con Carnage”
Chili...whether you like it hot or mild, with beans or without, heavy on the grease or light on things like ground turkey and tofu, chili is everyone’s favorite cold-weather dish.
That goes double for me. See, I worked at the Chili Showdown, traveling the chili cook-off circuit. Part of the time, I’m behind the counter at Texas Jack Pierce’s Hot-Cha Chili Seasoning Palace, working with my annoying half-sister, Sylvia. The rest of the time, I’m up front doing what I love to do best, dressed as the Chili Chick in a giant red chili pepper costume complete with fishnet stockings and stilettoes.
I love chili, and since I work with peppers and seasonings every day, I know plenty about it. How about you? Take the quiz and find out! Answers are the end, but no cheating! See if you’re a Chili Chick!
1. Which city has three times as many chili parlors as McDonald’s restaurants?
2. Which famous outlaw refused to rob a bank in McKinney, Texas, because his favorite chili parlor was there?
A. Jesse James
B. Al Capone
C. Billy the Kid
3. Where was the first chili cook-off held?
A. Houston, Texas
B. Phoenix, Arizona
C. Terlingua, Texas
4. What unit measures the heat of a chili pepper?
A. Scoville Unit
B. Thermal Unit
C. Capsaicin Unit
5. What’s the best way to cool off your mouth after you heat a too-spicy chili pepper?
A. A big glass of cold water
B. Eating a slice of bread
C. Drinking milk
1. B. Cincinnati. Skyline Chili is famous there, and it’s served over spaghetti.
2. A. Jesse James, who once said, “any place that has a chili joint like this ought to be treated better.”
3. C. Terlingua, Texas in 1967. Every year on the first of November, the Chili Appreciation Society International holds a cook-off there.
4. A. Scoville Heat Units measure the heat of chili peppers. To give you an idea, the Bhut jolokia (ghost pepper) contains 1 million SHU. A bell pepper has 0.
5. C. Mouth on fire? Drink a glass of milk. Dairy products help cool down the capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers hot.