Sublime. Outstanding. Fabulous. And good for me too? Get outta town!
A couple of other minor points are that it can sometimes be expensive (wait for when it’s on sale for $1 and buy a ton), and I’ve found the canning process to be somewhat inconsistent over the years. What I mean is that sometimes it’s really watery, sometimes there is less meat, and sometimes the can isn’t as full as other times. But it always, always tastes great, so I really couldn’t care less.
The really great thing about Dennison’s is that they know not to monkey with a great product! So many other companies feel they need to constantly tweak products or save a nickle by using cheaper ingredients. But as far as I can tell, Dennison’s hasn’t changed their recipes in 30 years. Oh sure, they’ve introduced new versions of their chili, but they stick to the recipe once they do. I stand up and applaud a company that doesn’t give into the tendency to always “improve” products (remember “New Coke“?).
So what makes this such a great chili? Well first you have to accept that this is canned chili, not something from a chili cook-off. It has ground beef, whole beans, and sauce – and that’s all. No chopped onions, chunks of steak, mountains of cheese, or sliced habaneros. But therein lies it’s magic – from those simple ingredients, a taste sensation is born. You can always add onions, cheese, or peppers. My personal favorite is to add crushed tortilla chips – it adds a lot of calories, but it’s nirvana in a bowl. Oh, and of course my ever-present cayenne pepper.
What is truly startling is that this stuff is actually good for you – really good. Very low in fat, high in protein, very high in fiber (at least for the American diet), and it even has some vitamins. It’s a tad high in calories and salt, but compared to other chili, it’s not even close.
This is a no-brainer Editor’s Choice. And if you find it on sale, fill your basket!
Calories per can: 349 (Caloric Density 0.82)