English Chili: An Oxymoron

Therese and Rick Snow Sunning

As Thérèse and I were catching a few rays between snow storms, I decided that a little research on “global warming” might prove useful.   The first thing I discovered was that no one uses the term “global warming” anymore, it is now referred to as “climate change.”  Climate change is the new politically correct “eco-friendly” term that emerged after they discovered that leading scientists in Europe were tampering with the facts to support their thesis that the world was getting warmer.

Wellies or WellingtonsAs readers of GourMay are aware, I never let a fact stand in the way of a good laugh, but in this case I must draw the line:  Something has clearly gone awry when the only way you can get to the North Pole is by boat.  While I am not demanding a  scientific explanation, I simply want to know if the earth is turning into a mud ball or a ball of ice.  In other words, should I be investing in Wellies or snow shoes?  I suspect that the abrupt switch to  “climate change” simply means that  scientists don’t have a clue.

I managed to work up quite an appetite with my “climate change” research and the “good” Thérèse decided to reward me with a bowl of chili from Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home.    I am a huge fan of Nigella and admire her new cookbook, but I am not convinced that the refined palettes of the English have fully embraced the rugged traditions of American chili.  Nigella’s “cheesy chili” was simply a disaster.

I should have suspected something was amiss when chorizo was added to the ground beef.  Mind you, I am not a purist like “Taleggio” Langston who prefers armadillo and prairie dog, but the taste of “chorizo” is simply too distinctive for chili.   Other than the fact that Nigella’s chili had very little taste, the addition of mozzarella did little to improve my appetite.  In most chili’s, cheddar or Monterrey jack is grated over the top.  In this case, mozzarella was simply added during the cooking of the chili.  The only thing it did was create a stringy mixture when served.

Now I realize that British taste has evolved over the last century, but Nigella’s cheesy chili is about as appetizing as bangers and mash.   I hear that mozzarella di bufala is now fashionable in the UK, but let’s restrict it to salads and pastas rather than “improve” gringo cooking.


  1. Isn’t it too “distinct”? Also, I did enjoy bangers & mash at one point – especially the white ones!!!

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