Childhood Food Memories Revisited: Chili

Childhood Food Memories Revisited
By: Lynette Nolan

As a kid who grew up in an Irish Catholic family, there was never a shortage of family parties to attend. While my sister and I were begrudgingly schlepped from gathering to gathering over the course of the year, there was one party we always looked forward to.

Superbowl Sunday has always been one of my favorite days of the year. Because while my father, mother, uncles, aunts and their friends hovered over the television, my sister and I hovered over the table full of snacks. Sure there were party platters at birthdays, holidays and retirement parties. But The Superbowl spread was different.  It was clear that this was a day about the food.

esuperbowl snacks

Finger sandwiches, Doritos (Cool Ranch and  Nacho Cheese – back when they were the only two flavors, of course), meatballs, cookies, brownies and positioned in the center of it all, the real MVP of the day… the crock pot of homemade chili.

Now the Superbowl is about more than chili. I get – and enjoy – the game. I have my own group of friends, and sometimes our game day traditions don’t include chili on the table. But chili is still one of my favorite seasonal foods.

The chili of Superbowls past was thick and meaty, chock full of veggies and beans. Over the years, I’ve tried myriad varieties of chili: hot, hotter, fire, meaty, meatier… you get the picture. But I often shied away for meatless varieties. Chicken instead of steak, sure. Ground turkey as a ground beef substitute. I’ll take it. But vegetarian chili was just never that appealing to me.

Until I popped into local fast food chain, B.Good.

These guys must share my love of winter comfort in a bowl. Because right now, their seasonal vegetable is homemade 4-bean chili.

That’s right. These guys are telling me that vegetarian chili does indeed count as having my vegetables. And I am eating it up.

A dollop of sour cream, melty shredded cheese, scallions. Perhaps these toppings were made for a bean and veggie rendition. I’m not sure they’ve ever tasted so good atop any meat chili I’ve had.

Perhaps the best part about B.Good is the fact that I can indulge in chili at their Hingham location when I’m home, but I can also trek to one of their several Boston locations during my lunch break while I’m working in the city.

If you found my 12 year old self perched in a recliner devouring sweet deserts and salty chips, paired with a savory bowl of ground beef stewed with peppers, spices and tomato sauce and told her that she could love a meatless rendition of this dish, she’d probably laugh in your face.

But here I stand, the day after the Superbowl, a veggie chili convert. Thanks, B.Good.

As a social media specialist, Lynnette Nolan tweets for a living. And as an edible South Shore contributor, she blogs for an excuse to eat her way around Southeastern Massachusetts. Lynnette is a UMass Dartmouth alumna and is currently pursuing a Masters in IMC at Emerson College. When she’s not eating, tweeting or blogging, she can be found running along Wessegussett Beach.


About eSS&SC

The South Shore and South Coast has been home to hunting, gathering, fishing, farming––and great eating––for over 10,000 years. We are committed to identifying, devouring, and sharing all that Southeastern Massachusetts has to offer today and preserving local options for future generations.
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One Response to Childhood Food Memories Revisited: Chili

  1. calv says:

    everything always sounds a lot more fun in the US. we don’t have anything like the superbowl and british food is quite bland as this article i wrote shows

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