I live in Texas, where folks take pride in their chili, but I'm from NJ and Chili is not a regional dish there, so my earliest influences of chili were from eating it at the fast food restaurant, Wendy's. Now, authentic Chili, according to Texas definition is Peppers and Meat simmered in some type of moisture with spices. There are no tomatoes or onions ... or BEANS in real Texas Chili. The reasoning behind this is that true Texas Cowboys of the past likely had no access to tomatoes or onions, but of course, they had access to meat, and to peppers. I sure love true Texas Chili, but I don't try to kid myself into thinking I can make it, cause I cant! The chili I make now is similar in style to the Wendy's chili, with beans and peppers, tomatoes and onions, but I give it a kick with fresh hot peppers from our garden! I began making chili when we still lived in NJ with a recipe from a can, but have since tweaked it to make it my own. We eat it over rice with cheddar cheese on top.