No food says “fall” quite like chili. So this week, we’re making it easy for you to whip up a warm, comforting chili supper. We’ve got all the fixins’ on sale this week at your neighborhood Brookshires – including chili meat, Food Club canned tomatoes, Jiffy corn bread mix, and two famous chili kits that make it easy to make a great pot of chili.
Both of these kits – Wick Fowler’s Two-Alarm Chili Kit and Carroll Shelby’s Original Texas Chili Kit – contain all the pre-measured spices you need, and let you make it as hot or mild as you dare. They both make a darned good pot of chili. And both kits have a pretty good story attached.
Wick Fowler’s Two-Alarm Chili Kit: The late Wick Fowler was a distinguished Texas newspaperman – he was a foreign correspondent during World War II – but he became most famous for his chili and the chili-cooking competition he helped found in West Texas.
Back in the 1960s, Texas newspaper columnist Frank Tolbert began writing frequently about Texas chili and founded something called the Chili Appreciation Society. Fowler, quite the chili cook, joined the cause, and in 1967 he competed in the first World Championship Chili Cookoff in Terlingua in far west Texas. His recipe is now reproduced in the seasoning kit sold under Fowler’s name.
The Terlingua chili cookoff was mostly a goof by Fowler, Tolbert and friends, but it had staying power. Now called the Original Terlingua International Frank X. Tolbert – Wick Fowler Championship Chili Cookoff, it celebrates its 45th year in November, and has even spawned a second “world championship” chili cookoff in the ghost town of Terlingua. More than 10,000 chiliheads usually attend.
Carroll Shelby’s Original Texas Chili Kit: To most people, Shelby is known for his career as a car designer and driver – he created the classic ‘60s muscle car that’s now known to collectors as the Shelby Mustang. But the native Texan had a lesser-known hobby of cooking chili.
He helped Fowler, Tolbert and other friends launch the first Terlingua championship, and later turned his own recipe into the kit that bears his name today. The company has since been sold, however, and Shelby is no longer associated with it personally. Still, the easy-to-use kit makes a nice, spicy bowl of red.