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Chili today

For some reason, I absolutely cannot find Dennison's Chili anywhere in the Omaha area.  It's my favorite brand of canned chili, and a critical component of my Famous Chili Burritos.  I can find Hormel, Bush's, Stagg and Campbell's as well as store brands and several other smaller brands I'd never heard of before.  Stagg is nasty, Hormel is way too watery, the store brands I've tried are too salty, Campbell's flavor is wrong for my burritos and Bush's is good but obscenely expensive.

What's really odd about this is that the company that makes Dennison's, ConAgra Foods, is headquartered here in Omaha.  You would think the place would be swimming in chili.  Most other ConAgra products, such as Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Manwich, Ro-Tel, Hunts and Pam, can be found in just about any store here, so why not Dennison's?

Chili Burritos:

Empty a can of Dennison's Chili Con Carne with Beans into a microwave safe container.  Heat on high, covered for 3 minutes, stirring once.

Heat up a large non-stick frying pan on the stove on the hottest burner on it's hottest setting.  Place a large flour tortilla in the pan.  After a few moments, flip the tortilla over.  The top side should have light brown spots on it.  When the tortilla starts to puff up like a balloon, transfer it to a plate.

Once the tortilla has deflated, spoon a couple tablespoons of the chili onto the tortilla, making a line of chili about 1/3 of the way towards one edge.  Top with plenty of cheddar and/or jack cheese.  Fold the sides over, then roll up the tortilla into a burrito.

EDIT:  I tried some Chili Man brand chili tonight.  I think it might make an acceptable substitute for Dennison's.  It's got the right thickness, and the flavor, while not the same as Dennison's, is still pretty good.  I just hope I can find it again, as I recall only seeing it at one store.



( 5 pieces of cheese — Leave some cheese )
Aug. 30th, 2007 03:28 am (UTC)
This happens when big conglomerates buy out regional brands. They sometimes keep marketing that particular brand only in the region it originally came from.
Aug. 30th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
Actually, a lot of the brands are all made in the same plant and there was a botulism problem and most of the nation's chili supply has been pulled off the shelves.


Imagine a world without chili.
Aug. 30th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
Botulism? What, people were eating it cold from the can?

Anyway, I don't have to imagine a world without chili. I make my own rather than use canned.
Aug. 30th, 2007 10:26 am (UTC)
Seriously, try writing to Con-agra and complain about it, be sure to butter them up about how much you love their chili, but how much it sucks that you can't get any there....sometimes they'll send free product in return. I've gotten 6 packs of soda and cases of chips that way.

it's worth a shot, ne?
Aug. 30th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
I did write them, but their reply wasn't very helpful ("Our fine products are sold at club stores, mass merchandisers, drug chains, and many supermarkets and grocery stores"). They also included a 50 cent off coupon. That's real useful.

I also tried using the "find a product" feature on their web site, but there is no chili within 30 miles of Lincoln, Omaha, Grand Island or Council Bluffs. I tried looking further afield, and finally managed to locate a chain of stores in Des Moines that supposedly carries it; that's about a 6 hour round trip.
( 5 pieces of cheese — Leave some cheese )