Chili fever: It's getting hot in here

by Jessica Wong, CBCNews.ca

It could be the weather or maybe all the lead-up to the Super Bowl, but I've had chili on the brain.

Chili is perfect for events like the Super Bowl: easy to eat and for guests to customize (Associated Press).

It's unavoidable, really, as newspapers, magazines and websites have been plastered with artfully styled bowls of the steaming and delicious concoction (whether packed with chunky meat, healthier all-veg or a mix of both) and disseminating mouth-watering recipes for every permutation of chili you could ever want (Authentic con carne? Laced with cocoa? Packed with peppers? New U.S. President Barack BObama's signature version?).

Chili is one of those dishes perfect for specific occasions, like the Super Bowl. When a large herd is heading your way and your attention is to be engrossed in a TV screen all night, eating something tasty (and easily customizable by guests with any number of garnishes) out of a deep bowl — a spoon the only utensil necessary — is the best option.

How did chili become so associated with the Super Bowl in the first place, though? Since many point to chili as hailing from Northern Mexico or the American Southwest (with Spanish and Mexican stews as influences), I'm thinking it was the probably the football-mad Texans who deserve the credit for making their state dish the de facto choice for the NFL's most important game.

Is chili part of your annual Super Bowl menu? How does your chili stand out from the rest?