Yes, chili purists, a chili with beans won this year. A vegetarian chili with beans, even. And instead of going for the burn, this chili has a mild, fragrant character with more cumin and coriander than red pepper. It’s a different approach, with a different objective – not all about heat and meatiness, but about a rich, subtle flavor of beans, chili, onion, and herbs.
This is a California chili with lots to like about it, aromatic and hearty, and the dense, slightly grainy cornbread that comes with it is exactly the right companion. Those who worship the meaty version without beans should try it and see what has found such favor with our astute readers.