This Popular Texas Chili Cook-Off Has Been Going on for 50 Years

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The picturesque Texas desert in Terlingua, Texas provides the backdrop for the well-known festival called the Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cookoff. This celebration is already in its 50th year after starting in 1967, and its popularity has only increased. notes that Terlingua is near Big Bend National Park and ” just a quick 10 hour drive from Houston,” reminding Texans how massive our state is.

During the festivities, a friendly but competitive cook-off takes place to deem someone a chili champ. The contest was originally created to settle a dispute between journalists who each claimed they knew everything there was to know about good chili. Now, tables of judges try unmarked cups of chili from participants and give them a numerical score. The rules are taken seriously, and it seems like the rule makers have thought of everything. Judges must even use a new spoon when trying each chili.

The official website named Deanna Castillo from Terlingua the proud winner of the large “1st Place Chili Champion” trophy. Castillo, like the other contestants, had to make her chili completely from scratch and on-site on the day of competition.

But the Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cookoff is more than just the cook-off. It lasts for four days and includes live music, a barbecue, a margarita mix-off and good ole Texas hangouts.