HAGERSTOWN -- Chili - think of it as the race car of food. It looks harmless on the outside, but under the hood, it's a whole different story.
Just ask Rachel Myers, who attended the Hagerstown Suns Chili Cook-Off and Music Festival on Saturday at Municipal Stadium.
Myers scooped up a spoonful of vegetarian chili only to be hit with a mouthful of heat.
"I wasn't expecting that," she said, trying to douse the fire with a glass of water. "It looked mild. Boy, was I wrong."
Whether it was spicy or sweet, bland or hot, there was something for every taste bud at this year's event.
"That's why people come out," said Joel Pagliaro, the Suns' director of special events. "It's a lot of fun trying all the different recipes."
Twenty-six teams participated in this year's festival, Pagliaro said, "and all think they have the best chili around."
But it was up to a panel of judges to make that decision. Taking first place was Tom Remavege with his Uh-huh Chili, with Red Lion Spicy Foods Co. taking second place and Hagerstown Magazine placing third.