Visser Hall was flooded with the smells of homemade chili as psychology students and staff competed against one another in a cookoff on Feb. 21. 

For just $5 I had access to all the chili I could eat, along with chips, drinks and desserts. Held in Visser Hall 330, I watched a good number of students and staff come and go while I ate.

From traditional, to alternative, to spicy, every shade of the chili rainbow was present. 

As part of the entry fee, I was given a cup of beans that I could use to vote on my favorite. 

Sherry Ferguson, application develop in IT, made a “2 Meat 3 Bean Chili” that was amazing and definitely my favorite.  With ground beef and kielbasa it was hearty and much chunkier. The black, kidney and red beans added texture which made it stand out against the other chilis, which had far runnier            consistencies.

I gave most of my beans to Sherry’s “2 Meat 3 Bean Chili.” Unsurprisingly, Sherry also won the popular vote. 

Even though I arrived relatively early, her chili was nearly depleted by the time I got around to trying it. 

Cathy Grover, associate professor of psychology, made “White Chili” with chicken, navy beans and cream cheese that won second place. 

The first chili I had was the “Traditional Chili.” It had a good heat to it and it wasn’t too spicy. With corn, beef and kidney beans the variety of ingredients was good.

The “Turkey Burger Chili” was a good “healthier” alternative, however it tasted plainer and more like the fillings of a sloppy joe than a chili. It was good, but with such a variety of good chili, it was the small things that separated the good from the great. 

The “Spicy Vegan Chili,” for example, was extremely runny and not a favorite of mine. 

Jim Persinger, chair of the psychology department, made a spicy chili that used baking soda to moisturize the meat. 

While it wasn’t my favorite chili, the meat was second to none. Juicy, sweet and well sauced, the chili was fulfilling and went great with chips.

It definitely earned an honorable mention in my book. 

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