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Thursday, June 17, 2021

San Antonio’s present ‘Chili Queen’ of JD’s Chili Parlor, Diana Anderson, on a mission to unfold the gospel of fine chili

The Andersons’ love of chili began out like so many different quests for perfection: with somewhat romance and a few good, old school household one-upmanship.

On their first date, John made Diana a bowl of basic Texas pink. As time handed, Diana didn’t like the truth that John made a greater batch than she may, so she did every part in her energy to beat him at his personal recreation.

“That’s simply her nature,” mentioned John, who has been married to Diana, self-dubbed “Chili Queen” of San Antonio, for 14 years. “She will get one thing in her head, and there’s simply no stopping her.”

Now the 2 have their very own chili enterprise, JD’s Chili Parlor, and promote sizzling bowls of the state meals of Texas and jars from their line of chili bases to the crowds at farmers markets. Since 2014, the family-run enterprise has been a daily presence at the Saturday downtown New Braunfels Farmers Market and the Alamo Heights Farmers Market within the Alamo Quarry Market on Sundays. They’re additionally branching out into markets within the Dallas-Fort Price space.

After profitable a Canyon Lake chili competitors in 2012, the Andersons had been urged by their son Wade, who was 12 and in center faculty, to start out their chili enterprise. They’d no expertise within the meals business. John was an engineer, and Diana, an Oklahoma native, had a background that included instructing, inside design, pictures and design.

“I assume you could possibly say that I’m the inventive arm of the enterprise, then John is the man who figures out how within the heck we will pull it off,” Diana mentioned.

They began with the recipe that received the competition and created a bowl made out of hash browns, which was formed in a waffle iron, to serve it in on the space markets. JD’s additionally provided weekly specials that included chili tacos, Frito pies and no matter else they may consider.

“The hash brown bowl took a whole lot of analysis and growth earlier than we may work out how one can do it with out making an enormous mess,” John mentioned. “I feel each meals enterprise goes via rising pains like that.”

Diana began studying all she may concerning the San Antonio historical past of chili. Extra individuals ought to comprehend it, however the famed dish was invented right here greater than a century in the past. The famed “Chili Queens” served up pots of the great things to hungry crowds in Alamo Plaza and different public areas.

Chili has Mesoamerican origins, with stewed chiles combined with proteins and greens for a hearty meal. The “Queens” primarily based their recipes on peppers blended with random, cheap cuts of beef and spices, and this grew to become acknowledged because the basic Texas tackle chili.

“The extra analysis I put into it, the extra linked I felt with the historical past and what we’re doing,” mentioned Diana, who considers herself one thing of an envoy for the chili legacy. “These girls had been actual pioneers. And we will go to Dallas or wherever, and folks don’t know of the San Antonio connection to chili. My aim is to vary that.”

JD’s is now a full-time enterprise for the Andersons. They do every part from the canning and labeling to all of the analysis and growth for brand spanking new merchandise in a modest kitchen area that appears like a science lab contained in the LocalSprout Meals Hub.

They’ve 9 varieties of Chili Fixin’s jarred chili bases. They arrive in 16-ounce jars for $6 and embrace blends made with ghost peppers, tequila, pineapple, whiskey and bock beer; they also have a pink wine blackberry mix. All you should do is add a pound or so of meat — and beans, if that’s your factor — and you’ve got chili in quarter-hour.

The Chili Fixin’s work nice as easy sauces over different meats, too. I prefer to mop the pecan-smoked whiskey mix over grilled pork chops.

However Diana’s most up-to-date invention of Chili Mary mixes, 36-ounce bottles for $10, could also be her most good. And they’re precisely what you suppose they’re: tomato juice with numerous peppers and fruits for combos like pineapple morita, honey sizzling habanero and grapefruit hatch. They only want somewhat vodka or tequila to make it a celebration. Along with the farmers markets, it’s obtainable at Alamo Metropolis Liquors areas all through the town.

I picked up a bottle of the pineapple morita on the market, and it was much better than every other bloody mary combine, with participating layers of flavors and warmth that gave approach to a refreshing fruit end. It didn’t want something greater than Tito’s Vodka, a pickle spear and some olives for an awesome Sunday eye-opener.

“So far as I do know, we’re the primary to develop the sort of product,” Diana mentioned. “We’re on that fixed quest to chili-fy the world.”

Spoken like a queen.

JD’s Chili Parlor, 210-573-1092,

jdschiliparlor.com
.

cblount@express-news.internet | Twitter: @chuck_blount | Instagram: @bbqdiver

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