Hey isn't there a site called puristfood.com for these discussions
. Actually, very few Texans of my acquaintance are card-carrying members of CASI, whose members also have arguments about the use of any tomato products in chili; I fancy it leads to lots of twisting off of twist-top caps and bending of elbows to bring slender brown bottles close to the mouth
. And that's probably the real reason the debates are started
I've used pinto beans, I've used kidney beans in chili, depending on my taste at the moment or the desire to extend the food budget, but usually don't. Nothing beats the savory meat and spices sans beans, but if you want beans, I don't see the point of cooking them separately. Put 'em in the pot and let 'em soak up the seasonings, too. Why cook 'em separately? What seasoning do you use to make them different from the chili
As far as sides, a grilled cheese sandwich is excellent, as are crackers or any manner of cornbread. I especially like a chili-cheese cornbread with such ingredients as peppers, pimientos, cheese, cream-style corn. I also like a fruit salad, more as a follow-up, such as one containing pineapple, bananas, grapes, mango, papaya, etc. Supposedly there is something in pineapple that aids the digestion of the spicy chili and hence eases the indigestion that often follows eating chili and it seems to work for me.