30 May, 2010

Vintage Sunday: Hormel Chili Con Carne

From a 1940 newspaper advertisement
I was poking around the internet t'other day and discovered that 2010 is the 75th anniversary of Hormel Chili Con Carne.  I love the original label, shown above in that vintage ad:  "Chili Con Carne With Beans and Meat Food Products."

Back in the day, Hormel's Chili Con Carne was highly esteemed; writer Richard Gehman in his 1966 book The Haphazard Gourmet refers to it as "excellent" and after giving his own personal recipe for chili, mentions that the homemade is "nowhere near the equal" of Hormel's.

Personally, I don't care for it very much, but hey, I'm not about to trash-talk a senior citizen on its birthday.  Happy 75th to Hormel Chili Con Carne!

Later edit - 31 May 2010 - It's come to my attention that Hormel has been sponsoring blog posts about the 75th anniversary of the introduction of their chili and their Dinty Moore line of prepared foods.  Please note that this is not a sponsored post.


Anonymous said...

I just saw a can of Hormel "Special Reserve" Chili in a little convenient store in Albany last night. I didn't buy it, I should have! I wonder what makes it "special reserve," maybe it is less beef hearts.

Eric M said...

Hormel Chili was what opened my mind to chili in the first place - I'd never had it before and figured no beans Hormel was a good place to start. I had passed, every year for the past eight or so years before that on my stepfather's home-made award winning chili, out of a juvenile fear of beans, tomatoes, onions and peppers.

I owe Hormel props for at least opening my mind to one of the greatest foods there is, even if the quality of Hormel in comparison to home-made chili is sorely lacking. I wonder if the quality of Hormel has dropped, or if the science of chili was really that far behind in the 60s?

Dave said...

I've spoken to several people who used to really like Hormel Chili back through the 1970's. I last tried Hormel's chili about 5 or 6 years ago, tempted by a TV ad campaign Hormel was running at the time, and didn't really think it was that good. I attributed it to recipe changes.

I'd be willing to try Hormel's "Special Reserve." I've had various versions of Stagg chili, and that's a Hormel company, so maybe it's time for a second chance.