Chili was a serious point of contention in my household. It took my beef-averse sister years to convince my dad to switch to chicken; my mom prefers fewer beans and more peppers. And no one but me likes my version with smoked paprika. My family’s chili issues are a sort of microcosm of the larger chili-eating world: There’s the Texas crew, who insist beans and tomatoes should stay far away. There are those that swear by bison, lamb, and other non-traditional (for some) cuts of meat. There are those, of course, who want no meat involved at all.
Yet we all seem to agree that chili—whatever “chili” means to us—is something we’re quite willing to enjoy on a weekly basis all winter long, especially around the end of football season.