The History of Chili

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In honor of Delray GreenMarket’s 17th Annual Chili Cook-off, we thought it would be fun to find out how this delicious concoction of beans, meats, spices, cheese and veggies came to be.

According to the International Chili Society (yes, that actually does exist), the origin of chili seems to have its own bowl full of spicy and controversial beginnings; and who serves up the best bowl in history may forever be an unanswered question and area of debate.

It is said that chili began “…somewhere west of Laramie, Wyoming in the early nineteenth century – being a product of a Texas trail drive – to a grisly tale of enraged Aztecs, who cut up invading Spanish conquistadors, seasoned chunks of them with a passel of chile peppers, and ate them. The mixture of meat, beans, peppers, and herbs was known to the Incas, Aztecs, and Mayan Indians long before Columbus and the conquistadores.”(Source: International Chili Society)

YIKES! Thank goodness for the Industrial Revolution.

So the age-old question of where it all began may be up to debate. But, there are a few things we do know:

Fact: Chile peppers were used in Cervantes’s Spain and show up in great ancient cuisines of China, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Caribbean, France, and the Arab states. (Source: International Chili Society)

Fact: Don Juan de Onate entered what is now New Mexico in 1598 and brought with him the green Chile pepper. It has grown there for the nearly four hundred years since. (Source: International Chili Society)

Fact: Canary Islanders, transplanted in San Antonio as early as 1723, used local peppers, wild onions, garlic, and other spices to concoct pungent meat dishes – improvising upon ones they had cooked for generations in their native land, where the Chile pepper also grew. (Source: International Chili Society)

We also know that in 1998, Chris Brown, the former CRA director, started the Delray GreenMarket’s Annual Chili Cook-Off, and Lori Nolan the GreenMarket’s current GM, has carried on the tradition ever-since.

“The chili cook-off has always been a popular event for both professional and home chefs to really showcase their chili creativity,” said Nolan. “Everyone enjoyes the camaraderie between the chili lovers and chili creators.  It’s always a spicy good time!”

This year the battle for bragging rights and the best chili (at least in Delray Beach) will be quite heated. Amongst the  13 entrants: Jarrett Jackson, Hank Langa, Joe Farrell, Jim Nolan, Inika Foods, Carolina Ale House, Dave McBride, Mary Schroeder, Lisa Mark, Nancy Simon & Sally Poe Hackman, John Hackman, Steve Savino and Susan Shaw.

The 17th Annual Chilli Cook-off is this Saturday, February 22 from 10-12pm at the Old School Square Park. Entry is FREE and samplings from the competitors will be given out. So come dance along to Heidi and the El Cats, while sampling unique and scrumptious chili dishes, voting on your favorite and do some shopping with all the varied vendors at the Market.

“Next to jazz music, there is nothing that lifts the spirit and strengthens the soul more than a good bowl of chili.”- Harry James

Credit: Broward Palm Beach New Times (Chili Cook Off 2013)

Credit: Broward Palm Beach New Times (Chili Cook Off 2013)

As we countdown to the 17th Annual Chili Cook-off event set for Saturday, Feb. 22 from 10 am-noon, we thought we’d share one of our favorite, award-winning chili recipes, along with a shopping list of ingredients for your homemade chili from our GreenMarket vendors.

SINGAPORE STING, Coconut Ginger Chili

By Thuy Shutt, 2004 Chili Cook-Off Winner

Ingredients

  • 2- 14oz cans of coconut milk
  • 2-14 oz cans of coconut juice
  • 6 small Vietnamese or Thai peppers chopped (2 tbsp)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups of water chestnuts
  • 2 cups of white potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • 1 cup of water, with ¼ cornstarch mixed in
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 1 pound of chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  • 2- 16 oz cans of navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • Juice from 1 ½ small limes
  • 1 medium ginger root, chopped

Instructions

1. In a large crock-pop, put cooked chicken breast, coconut milk and coconut juice, sugar, fish sauce, vinegar and water mixed with cornstarch.

2. Puree peppers, limejuice, ginger and garlic and put into crock-pot. Add water chestnuts and cubed potato.  Cook on high for 4 hours or until chicken and potatoes are tender. Turn temperature to low before adding canned beans and heath through. Garnish with fresh ginger, fired wontons or shrimp chips.

3. Enjoy!

Our vendors offer a fresh variety of peppers, onions and tomatoes; all the spices you can imagine from Tito’s;  and hot sauces from Carrie with Captain Redbeard for that extra kick.  For the chili carnivores, Farris Farm and Arrowhead Beef offer Florida grass-fed and finished beef, or chicken for added protein.

Join us on Feb. 22 for a day filled with hearty chili tasting, heated chef competition, soulful music from Heidi and the El Cats and more!

Interested in participating? Deadline to submit entries are Feb. 17. Please send information to greenmarket@delraycra.org or call 561.276.7511 for more information.

The GreenMarket Goddess: LORI NOLAN, Delray GreenMarket Manager

LoriNolanGMBlogDelray’s GreenMarket is celebrating its 18th year in 2014. The popular open-air market now features more than 60 vendors, and the variety of items and entertainment offered each week just continues to expand. So, who is behind the success of the Delray GreenMarket? The GreenMarket Guru or Goddess, of course! Meet Lori Nolan, Delray GreenMarket Manager.

Q: How many years have you been the manager and what has been your greatest accomplishment?

A: This is my 15th year, and one of the greatest achievements would be when we relocated the Market to Old School Square Park in 2012.

Q: What is a tip you would share for a GreenMarket newbie?

A: Shop early for best selection of items. Many of our vendors sell out of their most popular items early in the day, so definitely, the early bird gets the worm!

Q: When not at the GreenMarket, where would we most likely find you?

A: You’d find me at home, on the Avenue, or at the CRA office (my home away from home).

Q: What are your favorite restaurants in Delray?

A:  I have lots of favorites and I am such a creature of habit! On Monday my favorite is Marianne’s; Tuesday, Papa’s Tapa’s; Wednesday is Ziree’s; Thursday is the Green Owl; and Friday’s is City Oyster. Saturdays of course, I eat at the GreenMarket!

Q: What is your favorite Delray event (beside the GreenMarket of course)?

A: Hands-down I would say the Delray Affair. It is such a fun event with an eclectic mix of art, music and food, and it brings so many interesting, vibrant people to the city.

Q: If we opened your pantry, what could we always find?

A: I always keep sea salt, organic olive oil and Pascale’s Jams readily available.

Q: If you were stuck on a deserted island, what are the three things you would want?

A: Exotic fruit and nut trees, fresh water supply and a thatched roof tree house (Swiss Family Robinson style).

Q: What are your favorite words to live by?

A:  On Saturday’s it’s Chop-Chop!

Q: Dogs or cats?

A: I am a dog LOVER and have always had them in my life.  I currently live with two rescues, Phish our Chihuahua, and Gabby our Bassett Hound. Oh, and Jim my hubby!

2014: New Year, New You!

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Resolutions. Everyone makes them when the New Year rolls around, but the question is, do you keep them? And are they even attainable?

Setting achievable goals for the upcoming year to make a better you is important. Eating well and shopping local are two attainable resolutions you can make – and keep! – with the help of the Delray GreenMarket.  Here are some ways you can start the New Year right and keep them going the whole year through.

1. Be bold and try new things! The GreenMarket is full of tasty, unique and hard-to-find products such as olives stuffed with blue cheese, organic empanadas and whey better butter, you just might find something you never knew that you’ve always loved!

2. Get your daily servings of fruits and veggies. Most of us don’t eat enough fruits and veggies. At the Market they are plentiful, with Interesting varieties and options for anyone to enjoy. In season right now are varieties of peppers, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, eggplant, corn, lettuce, arugula and herbs.  And, for citrus lovers, enjoy oranges, grapefruit and tangerines.

3. Healthy dietary/lifestyle choices. There are lots of choices at the Delray GreenMarket, whether you choose to eat organic, vegan, free-range, gluten-free or sugar-free, there is something for everyone’s dietary preferences or needs.

4. Support local businesses. The products you buy and money you spend at the Delray GreenMarket stays in the local community and directly benefits the vendor. Skip the grocery store and find delicious treats from your neighbors instead of products that are transported from thousands of miles away.

5. Get some fresh air & exercise. Enjoy the warm weather and Vitamin D from the South Florida sun as you stroll around the market. After shopping, venture a little east and head down Atlantic Avenue to the beach!

And remember to visit us on Saturday, January 18 between 10am and 11am to receive $2.00 in GreenMarket bucks to spend with any GreenMarket vendor!

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“Saving the life of one dog may not change the world, but the world will surely change for that one dog.”


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Every weekend at the GreenMarket our (furry) friends at TriCounty Humane Society and Dezzy’s Second Chance Rescue bring their cuddly, adoptable dogs looking for their forever homes.

When thinking about adding a pet to the family, it’s important to do your research. Adopting a rescue makes your new pet even that much more special. Not only do you find the gift of a loving animal friend, but you give them the gift of hope and a new forever home. Here are some tips to keep in mind when considering adopting a pet especially during the holiday season.

  1. Bring your whole family. Make sure everyone is agreeable and will take his or her own responsibility for the new addition to the family.
  2. Do your homework. Research various breeds and their demeanors along with the care, space and equipment you need to properly care for them.
  3. Narrow your search online. PetFinder.com is a one great resource to locate local animals that need homes and calling shelters directly is an option too.
  4. Consider fostering. Fostering is a great way to make sure the pet and family is a good fit before making a final commitment.
  5. Consider older dogs. Puppies don’t have the best manners so don’t rule out a well-trained and older animal that may better suit your family dynamics.
  6. Consider your lifestyle. Do you want an active dog or a mellower one?
  7. Take time to decide. Returning a pet is not like returning a toy or unwanted sweater. This is an important decision that should not be made on a whim.
  8. Adoption is less costly than a pet store. Adoption fees are minimal and saving a homeless, abandoned animal is priceless. Pet store dogs are mostly obtained from puppy mills and backyard breeders.
  9. Consider waiting until after the holidays. The holidays are a time often filled with stress, visiting guests and other craziness. It is important to ensure your new furry friend is introduced into a comfortable situation where they can more easily adjust to their new environment.

So when you think of adding a furry friend to your family, think about adopting local from a shelter such as TriCounty or Dezzy’s. Visit us at the GreenMarket on Saturdays to see some of their adoptable dogs and learn more if adopting a loving shelter dog is right for you!

Get Ready for Florida’s Winter Vegetable Bounty

By Paula Detwiller

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In recent weeks, you may have noticed that the amount and variety of vegetables available from produce vendors has been on the rise—and rest assured it will increase even more in the coming weeks.

“The only way to offer produce year-round in Florida is to ship it in from around the nation or from outside of the country, which is what the supermarkets do,” said Delray GreenMarket Manager Lori Nolan.  “But that’s not what we’re all about. We focus on locally grown and sourced produce.”

 “I tell people, it’s the beginning of the season,” said Manny Guerrero, who helps GreenMarket shoppers at the Thomas Produce booth. “The people who’ve been coming here for many years—they understand. They know the harvest is just starting.”

As the largest independent, family-owned vegetable grower in the state of Florida, Thomas Produce brings a cornucopia of Florida-grown vegetables to market once the winter harvest is underway.  On a recent Saturday, Manny was offering squash, eggplant, green pepper, cucumbers, green beans, avocados, and pablano peppers. He also had some “imports”—Fuji apples from Washington, sweet potatoes and red potatoes from North Carolina—but was careful to point out the origin of those items to customers.

At the Alderman Farms organic produce booth, owner Jimmy Alderman was pleased with the variety he could offer.

“Usually around Thanksgiving, all the crops are coming in here in Florida. So right now we’ve got just about everything, really—all the varieties of tomatoes, eggplant, squash—and for the next four to five weeks we’ll have fall corn,” he said. “It’s bi-colored organic sweet corn, grown right here in Palm Beach County.”

Meanwhile, Manny at Thomas Produce expects to have 17 different kinds of tomatoes eventually, including the heirloom varieties that his wife Cindy is growing in pots right now at Thomas Produce headquarters off Clint Moore Road west of Boca Raton.

The Delray GreenMarket has several other produce vendors, including Green Cay Farms and Volker Farms. Our newest addition, Hornbuckle Family Farm, specializes in citrus fruits, and they’ll have fresh squeezed juice for sale by the quart starting this weekend.

Just think: we’ve already been the envy of much of the U.S., enjoying fresh-picked local vegetables in November. And it’s only going to get better!

Five Tips for Healthful Holiday Eating

By Paula Detwiller

 

Ever notice how the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are packed with activities that seem to conspire against healthy eating?  Between the Christmas goodies, the holiday parties, and rushing around to get things done, we tend to put nutrition on the back burner.

Maybe that’s why November is Good Nutrition Month—to remind us that our bodies need good fuel to keep running strong.

Fall Cornucopia

Here are 5 tips for staying healthy through the holiday season:

  1. Limit your sugar intake. Yes, it’s easier said than done. But if you remind yourself of all the bad things associated with sugar—diabetes, weight gain, tooth decay, and even immune system suppression, you may find the willpower to resist the cakes, pies, and cookies.
  2. Remember your B’s. End-of-year holidays have a way of stressing us out, from the overcrowded shopping mall to the overbearing relatives. Bolster your nervous system and keep stress at bay by eating foods high in B vitamins, including legumes, oatmeal, eggs, flax seeds, brown rice, nuts, asparagus, leafy greens, cauliflower, potatoes, broccoli, and oranges. (Hint: you’ll find many of these at the Delray GreenMarket!)
  3. Be kind to your gut.  Eating a high-fiber diet of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans and nuts keeps you regular. But did you know that it also feeds your “gut flora,” the beneficial microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts? Thriving gut flora is associated with disease prevention in more and more nutritional studies. So as you plan your holiday meals, be sure to include plenty of dietary fiber.
  4. Avoid colds and flu. Germs travel far and wide during the holidays, and get spread around at parties and get-togethers. Protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and eating foods rich in Vitamin C.  Excellent sources include bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, pineapple, and papaya (which provides a whopping 313 percent of the daily recommended value of Vitamin C).
  5. Go easy on the alcohol. A little holiday cheer can lighten your mood, but too many holiday cocktails can leave you disoriented, dehydrated and depleted of essential vitamins and minerals. If you drink, remember to eat food at the same time—complex carbohydrates and protein sources are best—and for the health and safety of everyone, never drink and drive.
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