10/8/06 | Hormel Chili With Beans
[ Currently Eating: Yet More Pork ]
I apologize in advance to Texans and others who are of the firm belief that chili in a can is a heinous offense. Yep, I know there are a lot of people out there. Let’s not even get into the “beans in chili” vs. “meat-only” debate.
I’m a big fan of chili (actually “chili con carne“, according to Wikipedia). Whether it’s served at a restaurant with cornbread, homemade with carrots (my mom’s specialty), baked into Frito Pie, eaten straight outta the can or pumped out of a dispenser onto a hot dog at a gas station… it’s all good. I mean, it tastes all good. It’s not necessarily good for your digestion!
For the people who don’t mind it out of a can, you’ve got a ton of different companies to choose from: Dennison’s, Wolf Brand, Bush’s, Campbell’s, Stagg, etc. But for me, canned chili always makes me think or Hormel, for better or worse. Actually, corned beef and hash makes me think the most about Hormel, but chili is a close second.
Anyhow, I picked up this can of Hormel Homestyle Chili with Beans the other day because it was a buck. And I was hungry. I think that is Rule #3 or so in the Cheap Eats Manifesto: Never Go To The Supermarket On An Empty Stomach.
Interestingly, Stagg is apparently owned by Hormel as well… for some reason I had missed that.
I like to have a couple of cans of chili chilling out in the pantry for emergencies (read as – I’m too lazy to cook something as usual). It’s great just thrown in the pot and eaten with bread or whatever’s available. That whatever is sometimes noodles – I don’t know if you’ve had Chili Spaghetti before but that’s definitely fodder for an upcoming Cheap Eats post. I think I actually saw on Food Network that it’s a common dish at diners – was it in Cincinnati?
The Hormel chili I got is interesting because not only does it have beans in it, but they’re kidney beans instead of pinto. I personally like the pinto beans instead because they load me up with better methane for farts. Haha, I’m kidding. Actually, I do like the pinto better, but I’m used to kidney beans as well because mom always made chili with those. And carrots, as I’ve mentioned.
So, the flavor of the chili is actually quite nice: tangy with a meaty taste. I’ve had chili con carne that resembles the sweeter nature of baked beans more than chili, and that’s always a disappointment. I always favor the savory over the sweet.
The meat chunks you can see in the picture are actually quite, well, meaty. It’s not steak, but it doesn’t taste as dehydrated or spongy as some of the other brands. Or the “pump chili” you get on hot dogs and chili burgers which tastes like meat puree.
There’s also supposed to be red and green peppers in here but there wasn’t much to be found in the bowl I had. I threw some chopped green scallions on there for extra flavor, and of course you can throw some cheddar cheese on the top. Sometimes, a big glob of sour cream helps it out too.
This wasn’t the spiciest of chilis. In fact, it was pretty mild. Then again, I didn’t get the “hot” variety because I wasn’t looking for heat. You can always dress it up with Tabasco or other hot sauce.
At a buck and with some bread slices on the side, this makes a tasty, cheap but unhealthy lunch . Well, I also ate a salad so that I felt a little better about it. Even Cheap Eaters get Chili Guilt-Trip. Supposedly, you can sometimes get cans of off-brand chili at 2 or 3 for a buck once in a blue moon in the dollar store. I need to work up the courage over the next couple months to try those, though.
Found At: Albertsons
Cheap Eats Score: 7/10