6/28/2008 Mohrsville, PA 1253A guest eats a bowl of chili which was prepared in a Dutch Oven over the fire.In the backyard of Mark and Paula Gyomber in Mohrsville Saturday evening where they were having an open fire cookout with a group of friends and neighbors.Reading Eagle Photo by Ben Hasty (Photo By Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)
The Sweet Ingredient You Should Be Adding To Homemade Chili
By Amy Boyington
Every home cook seems to have a special ingredient for their signature chili recipe, adding some unexpected elements. However, there is one ingredient that some home chefs add while others choose to leave out, yet this sweet addition may serve another purpose besides adding a unique flavor component.
Since most chilis are made with a tomato base, consider adding a small amount of sugar to offset the acidic taste. Sugar may be one addition your chili needs to add some overall complexity to your dish while balancing all the additional flavors, and you should start small, giving a teaspoon or two of sugar a try.
Beyond standard white sugar, feel free to try different sweeteners to add a completely different flavor variation. For example, J. Kenji López-Alt adds two tablespoons of dark brown sugar in his favorite chili recipe (per Shipt), while Bobby Flay likes to include pure maple syrup.