We was robbed.
The chili turned out really fantastic. Great care was taken in the organic ingredient selection and cooking and it showed in the final product.
The mystery spice was “Coriander.” But just a tiny bit.
Two factors conspired in our defeat.
- There were eight entries and only around 25 people max. Most everyone came with close friends who knew who’s chili was who’s and voted accordingly most of the time. There was no attempt to disguise pots.
- New Coke. See, back in the 1980s Pepsi was going around with their “choice of a new generation” and proclaiming that 4 of 5 people (or some other high ratio) choose Pepsi over Coke in blind taste tests. The Coca-Cola corporation did what any globo-corp entity would do and set up a lab to change the formula to beat Pepsi consistently. Thus New Coke was born. Much sweeter than the original and therefore worked better in Dixie cup sized portions with mall-browsing-consumers. We all know the rest — people liked Old Coke (“Classic”) because over the course of an entire can it was better and not too sugary.
Same thing with Chili. If you want to win a Chili contest you have to just jack up the spices to 10; you can’t win with a beautiful, subtle, richly meated, delicious recipe like mine.
The winning chili was a) the host’s b) the spiciest by far.