King Fest Chili/Soup Cook-Off heats up in McFarland Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Stanley Serkosky, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

MCFARLAND -- Chili, one of America's most popular soups, has a long and rich history. The number and variety of recipes grows daily.

Arguments lasting decades concerning the addition of meat to chili continue to rage without resolution and stories abound regarding its origins.

Stories about origins

Enthusiasts of chili say one possible though far-fetched starting point comes from Sister Mary of Agreda, a Spanish nun in the early 1600s who never left her convent yet had out-of-body experiences in which her spirit was transported across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Indians.

After one of the return trips, her spirit wrote down the first recipe for chili con carne: chili peppers, venison, onions, and tomatoes. (excerpted from

It’s generally accepted that soup is almost as old as the discovery of fire. Earliest evidence dates back some 22,000 years to an animal hide soup pot filled with acorns, wild onions, and cabbage found in Xianrendong Cave in China.

Chili/Soup Cook-Off

On Saturday, Nov. 14, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., at Christ the King Parish Hall, 5306 Main St., a committed group of chili/soup chefs will pit their recipes against one another.

This year, non-chili soups, as a category, have been added to the competition. The annual King Fest Chili/Soup Cook-Off invites all chili/soup aficionados to attend to sample these varied, sure-to-please efforts.

Chilies and soups will be judged by popular vote. Prizes will be given for the three top.

Pie competition

A concurrent pie competition will be held and no registration is required. Bring your pie to the parish hall on November 14 between 4 and 5 p.m. Your pie will be assigned a number and blind voting will determine the winning entries.

There will also be a raffle. Tickets may be purchased from parishioners, at the King Fest, or from the parish office.

For more information, call 608-838-9797 or go to