Chili: How hot is too hot? - AmericaNowNews.com

Chili: How hot is too hot?

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    Malibu, California is one of the richest and most famous beaches in the world, a celebrity retreat known for star-studded fun, sun, surfing and . . . chili.
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Nobody knows for sure where the spicy stew known as "chili" first originated… but it sure is popular now. Americans everywhere love it!

But when it comes to the spice, how much is too much?

The Kiwanis Club in Malibu, Calif., has been sponsoring a chili cook-off since the early 1970's. And while competitors have all kinds of inventive recipes, the big question always boils down to, how do you like your chili? Spicy, or not so much?

Tommy Cella says, "Essential spices for chili kind of depends on who you're serving; you're serving kids, you don't want it to be spicy, you want it to be mild. Me personally, I like spicy chili."

For a lot of chili lovers, how much heat you can handle is a badge of honor.

Chili fan and artist, Mikhail Antrios says, "I think we're attracted to the heat. How much heat can you take?"

For those who like it hot, there are more than 100 varieties of chilis in the world to choose from. And every chili competitor has their short list of favorites.

Chef Johnny says, "You can use Chimoya Valley chili, which is a pepper form New Mexican hatched chilis; you can use Chipotle chilies which are the jalapeno when it turns red and dried and smoked, a wonderfully earthy quality to them. You can use the Scotch Bonnet or the habanero chili, which is a fruity kind of mango flavor to it as well as the heat."

But what do you do if you've got a mouth full of chili that's just too hot to handle.

Dr. Steven Grahek says, "The best thing to do is to drink some hot tea, because that will melt the oils of the spice, of the pepper that is causing the heat. Not cold water, not milk -- hot tea is actually what's needed. The hot water melts the oil and then the taste goes away."

If your taste buds prefer you keep it on the mild side, there's no reason you can't enjoy a big bowl of chili too!

Henry Harmon says, "I have a twist in my chili. My chili is semi-sweet, semi-spicy."

Harmon, who also just so happens to be an editor at America Now, took home third place at the Malibu Chili Cook-off.
 
"In my chili I put pineapples, sweet pineapples so that blends in with the spices and you get a semi-sweet taste," says Henry.

So when it comes to how hot or not you like your chili, take Henry's advice: "It could be spicy, it can be un-spicy, but it has to be good!"

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