Chili...whether you like it hot or mild, with beans or without, heavy on the grease or light on things like ground turkey and tofu, chili is everyone’s favorite cold-weather dish.
That goes double for Maxie Pierce, heroine of my new Chili Cook-Off mystery series. The first book, “Chili Con Carnage” hit store shelves yesterday and follows Maxie’s adventures as she tries to solve the murder of a Chili Showdown roadie. There are plenty of plot twists and turns, plenty of craziness what with Maxie spending her days at the Showdown as the Chili Chick, dressed as a giant red chili pepper (complete with fishnet stockings and stilettoes) and enough suspects to keep the pot boiling! There’s plenty of information about chili, chili spices and cooking, too, and that got me to thinking . . .
How much do you know about chili? Take the quiz and find out! Answers are the end, but no cheating! See if you’re a Chili Chick!
1. Which city has three times as many chili parlors as McDonald’s restaurants?
2. Which famous outlaw refused to rob a bank in McKinney, Texas, because his favorite chili parlor was there?
A. Jesse James
B. Al Capone
C. Billy the Kid
3. Where was the first chili cook-off held?
A. Houston, Texas
B. Phoenix, Arizona
C. Terlingua, Texas
4. What unit measures the heat of a chili pepper?
A. Scoville Unit
B. Thermal Unit
C. Capsaicin Unit
5. What’s the best way to cool off your mouth after you heat a too-spicy chili pepper?
A. A big glass of cold water
B. Eating a slice of bread
C. Drinking milk
1. B. Cincinnati. Skyline Chili is famous there, and it’s served over spaghetti.
2. A. Jesse James, who once said, “any place that has a chili joint like this ought to be treated better.”
3. C. Terlingua, Texas in 1967. Every year on the first of November, the Chili Appreciation Society International holds a cook-off there.
4. A. Scoville Heat Units measure the heat of chili peppers. To give you an idea, the Bhut jolokia (ghost pepper) contains 1 million SHU. A bell pepper has 0.
5. C. Mouth on fire? Drink a glass of milk. Dairy products help cool down the capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers hot.
If you're in the northeast Ohio area...
On Saturday, October 5, I'll be signing copies of "Chili Con Carnage" and all my other books at Books-a-Million in Westgate Mall from 1-3. I'll be there with fellow mystery writers Shelley Costa, Amanda Flower and Sam Thomas
On Sunday, October 6, I'll be at the Seven Hills Fall Fest and Chili Cook-Off from 11-4. At the Seven Hills (Ohio) community center