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Costco's Controversial Chili Just Returned & It's Causing Fierce Debate

Fans are divided over one ingredient in the grocer's chili.

Do beans belong in chili? That question has long divided fans of the hearty comfort food dish since the answer changes depending on where you are in the country. So, it should really come as no surprise that when the beans vs. no beans question came up among Costco shoppers, it sparked a very fierce debate.

Costco sells a seasonal beef chili that comes with not just one, but two types of beans: kidney and pinto. Laura Lamb, who runs Costco-themed social media accounts (@costcohotfinds), tipped off fellow Costco members through on Instagram and TikTok last week that the chili had just returned to her local warehouse.

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A post shared by 🖤 Hi, I'm Laura Lamb! (@costcohotfinds)

But by announcing the chili's return, Lamb unwittingly set off a passionate discussion. Some members were outraged that Costco's chili includes beans because it goes against their preferred regional styles. Authentic Texas chili, for example, is never supposed to contain beans, while Springfield-style "chilli," created in Illinois, usually does contain them, Business Insider reported.

"That's not chili. That's bean soup," one critic commented on Lamb's Instagram post about the chili.

"Real chili has no beans here in Texas," another wrote.

On the other hand, others were adamant that chili is still chili even when it contains those contentious beans.

"Why are [people] so negative. Beans or no beans it's chili. Give it a break please," a shopper commented on Lamb's TikTok post about the chili.

"Without beans it's just Sloppy Joes!" another said.

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Chili lovers are evidently very passionate about the beans vs. no beans debate, so the chances of them ever finding common ground don't seem high. But if you're on the pro-bean team and want to try out the controversial Costco meal, some members suggested pairing the chili with the new Green Chile Cornbread from the retailer's bakery section. Four-pound tubs of the chili were selling for around $14 at the warehouse where Lamb spotted them, but prices may vary by location.

This isn't the only Costco item that has stirred up serious debate this year. When Costco added new Carne Asada Bowl kits to its prepared food section last month, some shoppers raved about the dish while others said it was underseasoned or contained too much cilantro.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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