Buellton Chili Festival this weekend

Chili Festival to spice up the valley March 19

Star Staff Report

The Santa Ynez Valley is known for world-class wine and craft beer, but Buellton has laid claim to one of the more popular local food events with the Buellton Wine and Chili Festival.

This year’s event, which hosts a competition to see who makes the best chili on the Central Coast, will be from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 19, at Flying Flags RV Resort.

Those who enter the contest are competing in three categories: Red Chili, Chili Verde, and Salsa, and will be judged according to the International Chili Society rules. The cost to enter is $25 for unlimited entries.

n Traditional Red Chili is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of beans and pasta — which are strictly forbidden. No garnish is allowed.

n Chili Verde is defined by the ICS as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with green chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of beans and pasta — which are strictly forbidden. No garnish is allowed.

Salsa must be homemade by the contestant whose name and ICS number appear on the contestant application. The salsa may be brought to the site that day or it may be prepared at the cook-off.

Those interested in the Community Challenge have to provide at least five gallons of chili or salsa.

General admission costs $45, which provides unlimited samples of wine, craft beer, spirits and chili. A chili-only ticket costs $10. Children 12 and under get free admission. Those who purchase $45 tickets also get a souvenir wine glass.

There will be live entertainment by The Caverns and the Dusty Jugz and family games including bocce, horseshoes, table tennis, mega-sized beer pong, and corn hole.

Flying Flags RV Resort has been going through major renovations throughout the past year. It offers overnight camping from large RV’s to furnished cottages, tents and more.

More than 20 wineries are participating, including Sevtap, Standing Sun, Lucky Dogg, and Alexander and Wayne. Breweries from the valley and Santa Barbara will also be pouring.

For a complete list of vendors, lodging, or more information on signing up for the competition, log onto www.buelltonwineandchilifestival.com.


Chili history

Canary Islanders, transplanted in San Antonio as early as 1723, used local peppers, wild onions, garlic and other spices to concoct pungent meat dishes. They were improvising upon ones they had cooked for generations in their native land, where the chili pepper also grew, according to the International Chili Society.


ORIGINAL SAN ANTONIO CHILI

2 pounds beef shoulder, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 pound pork shoulder, cut into ½-inch cubes

¼ cup suet

¼ cup pork fat

3 medium-sized onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 quart water

4 ancho chilies

1 serrano chili

6 dried red chilies

1 tablespoon comino (cumin) seeds, freshly ground

2 tablespoons Mexican oregano

Salt to taste

Place lightly floured beef and pork cubes in with suet and pork fat in heavy chili pot and cook quickly, stirring often. Add onions and garlic and cook until they are tender and limp.

Add water to mixture and simmer slowly while preparing chilies. Remove stems and seeds from chilies and chop very finely. Grind chilies and add oregano with salt to mixture. Simmer another 2 hours.

Remove suet casing and skim off some fat. Never cook frijoles with chilies and meat. Serve the beans as a separate dish.