From Library Journal
From Chili a la Whistle Stop (Alabama) to Serious Capitol Punishment Chili (District of Columbia) to Code 10 Chili (Wyoming), you'll find every imaginable version of what the authors describe as our "one truly national shared food." There are chilies with beans and without, with meat and without, green chilies, and many variations on the classic "bowl o'red." The Sterns' Roadfood (1976) and other books on American food are well known, and their latest is fun to browse through. For most collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Jane and Michael Stern document that every state in the Union has its own approach to chili, the Texas-created national dish. Devotees of the original "bowl of red" may fume in protest that Maryland's shrimp and crabmeat in cream sauce lightly rouged with chili powder stretches the definition of chili beyond the breaking point. Michigan's Upper Peninsula stuffs its miners' pasties with chili instead of the traditional meat and rutabaga filling. Washington State spikes its chili with plenty of coffee. Florida crosses chili with Cuban picadillo. Vermont mellows out the bite of chili peppers with maple syrup. And what does Hawaii do? Naturally, it studs its chili with chunks of macadamia nuts. One can read this book as the triumph of spicy cooking across the breadth of America or as a perversion of authentic ethnic cookery. Mark Knoblauch