The Inexperienced Chilli Taster

Inexperienced Chili Taster
These are notes from a New Yorker named Frank who was visiting friends in Texas:

Recently I was lucky enough to be the 10,000th attendee at a Texas State Fair and was asked to fill in to be a judge at a chili cook-off.

Apparently the original Judge #3 called in sick, and I happened to be standing there when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that it would be a fun event and a true taste of Texas hospitality. They assured me that the chili wouldn’t be all that spicy, and besides, they told me I could have free beer during the tasting. So I said OK.

Here are the scorecards from the event:

°Chili #1: Mike’s Maniac Mobster Monster Chili
JUDGE 1: A little too heavy on tomato. Amusing kick.
JUDGE 2: Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
FRANK : Holy smoke! What is this stuff? You could get dried paint off your driveway with it. Took me two beers to put out the flames. Hope this is the worst one. These Texans are crazy!!

°Chili #2: Mario’s Mexican Standoff Chili
JUDGE 1: Smoky, with a hint of carne asada. Slight Jalapeño tang.
JUDGE 2: Exciting BBQ flavor—needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
FRANK : Keep this out of reach of children! I’m not sure what I am supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to walkie-talkie in 3 extra beers when they saw the look on my face.

°Chili #3: Fred’s Famous Afterburner Chili
JUDGE 1: Excellent firehouse chili! Great kick. Needs more beans.
JUDGE 2: A beanless chili, a bit salty, good use of red peppers.
FRANK : Call the EPA, I’ve located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I’ve been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. The 300-pound barmaid pounds me on the back—my backbone is now in the front of my chest.

°Chili #4: Bubba’s Black Magic
JUDGE 1: Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
JUDGE 2: Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods—not much of a chili.
FRANK : I felt something like molten lava scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Sally, the bar maid, was standing behind me with fresh refills—that flirty-eyed blimp is starting to look hot, just like this nuclear-waste I’m eating. My stomach feels like it’s full of rusty barbed wire!

°Chili #5: Linda’s Legal Lip Remover
JUDGE 1: Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
JUDGE 2: Chili using shredded beef; could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
FRANK : My ears are ringing, and I can no longer focus my eyes. I passed gas and four people behind me burst into flames. One contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally kept my tongue from bleeding by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher. It really bugs me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw these stupid rednecks!

°Chili #6: Vera’s Very Vegetarian Variety
JUDGE 1: Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spice and peppers.
JUDGE 2: The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, and garlic. Superb.
FRANK : My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. No one wants to stand behind me except that sl*t Sally. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone!

°Chili #7: Susan’s Screaming Sensation Chili
JUDGE 1: A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
JUDGE 2: Ho hum—tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. I should note that I am worried about Judge Number 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
FRANK : You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn’t feel a thing. I’ve lost the sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. At least during the autopsy they’ll know what killed me. I’ve decided to stop breathing, it’s too painful. I’m not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I’ll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

°Chili #8: Helen’s Mount Saint Chili
JUDGE 1: A perfect ending… this is a nice blend chili, safe for all, not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
JUDGE 2: This final entry is a good, balanced chili, neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 passed out, fell on his ass and pulled the chili pot on top of hisself. Not sure he’s gonna make it. But whadda y’all expect from a damnyankee?
FRANK : (Editor’s note: Judge #3 was unable to report)

The Inexperienced Chilli Taster


Wyongah, Australia

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