Sweet or spicy? Super Bowl chilis with regional twists

ATLANTA (AP) — If the Super Bowl was a chili cook-off, it would come down to the sweetness of baked beans representing New England against the spicy punch of jalapenos coming out of Los Angeles.

Tough choice.

Hormel’s master chef Kenneth Temple, a native of New Orleans, was hoping to be cooking up a bayou brand of the popular dish for Sunday’s game, but penalty flags — a lack of them, actually — got in the way. Ever the sport, he has been producing delicious batches of Dynasty Dip and City of Angels Chili Dip this week at the Super Bowl.

With Vikings star receiver Adam Thielen at his side in a small kitchen at Irwin Street Market and the renowned Jake’s Ice Cream — invent a flavor and owner Jake Rothschild will make it — Temple talked food and football.

“You know I’d like everyone to be sampling the Saints’ chili,” said Temple, who also prepared Big Easy and Kansas City versions before the conference championships. “I made gumbo and chili and it was all absolutely gone during the (Rams-Saints) game. But I wasn’t eating anything after that game. Maybe had a couple shots of whiskey.”

So it’s two distinctly different chilis for the Super Bowl, as distinct as the areas the teams represent.

For his New England dish, Temple used Boston baked beans, which bring out an array of flavors unmatched by most chilis. Sort of comparable to the number of Super Bowl rings and appearances for Tom Brady.

The feedback through social media and on Hormel’s website, he said, has been “exceptional.”

“I think the authenticity is appreciated,” Temple said Thursday while allowing a reporter to pig out on both of his creations. “You never hear of a sweet and savory bean in it, but it is a blend that is unique.”

Thielen also dug in and seemed to prefer the LA version, which used turkey instead of meat because, Temple said, “LA is beach-body ready.”

“I like it spicier, and this has a kick,” he said, making sure he loaded up on the jalapenos. “But they’re both delicious.”

Temple called Thielen a perfect accompanist as the chilis were prepared and cooked, but Thielen admitted his wife handles the more complex chilis at home.

Super Bowl week is the heaviest for consumption of chili all year, according to Hormel. A taste of Chef Kenneth’s creations would shoot up the numbers.

“Chili is fun, it’s easy,” he said, “and it sure tastes good.”


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