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Terlingua International Chili Championship: Are You Ready to Rumble?

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Terlingua, Texas: population 52. This former mining-turned-ghost-town is now home to a week-long, international Chili Championship in the desert of West Texas with the Chisos Mountains as the backdrop. The absolute best chili-makers bring their A-game for a chance at bragger’s rights on the first Wednesday of November ever since 1967. And more than 10,000 fans of this cold weather favorite come from around the world and descend on this small town to partake in it.

Terlingua International Chili Championship: Are You Ready to Rumble?

Photo: Facebook/Big Bend Cookbook

We Texans have never been surreptitious about our love of, especially things like chili (without beans). And the Terlingua International Chili Championship is an annual homage to the dish, and all that it entails, that we just can’t pass up! Festivities around this great event range from the main cook-off to vendors of all kinds, sporting goods and foods that we love to shop for! However, few things compare to the main course.

Terlingua International Chili Championship: Are You Ready to Rumble?
Photo: Facebook/The Pessimists’ Bloom Via Allen Hare

With great food, excellent entertainment, and quite the crowd, every year, this four-night celebration brings out the best kinds of competition…taste testing! Novices to pros alike try their hand at wing, bean, and salsa cook-offs prior to the big chili competition on Thursday, and the entire week culminates in the most prestigious chili cook-off in America, that Saturday. With hundreds of entrants fighting hand over fist to make the most mouthwatering batch of chili, the real winner is the taster! Now in its 51st year, last year’s (2016) best-of-the-best was Deanna Castillo, who’s recipe for “Ghost Town Chili” was featured in Ranch & Reserve Magazine’s October issue that year, as well as the Terlingua Chili Cookbook: Chili’s Last Frontier, written by Texas’ own Tiffany Harelik. Having brought her best and faced the rest, Castillo one the Terlingua International Chili Championship and promised to defend her title in subsequent years! For more information, you can visit the festival’s website, and plan a trip to West Texas to eat, enjoy, and be a part of a great food adventure.

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