Foodie Friday and chowing down in Cinci.
On our Saturday trip to an altered state, Kentucky that is, we indulged in a traditional lunch of Cincinnati Chili. We dined in Kentucky's version of a Cincinnati chili parlor. Cincinnati chili is unlike the widely known Texas chili. The Tri State region around Cincinnati eats the most chili per capita. Cincinnatians consume about 2 million pounds of chili per year. The city has more chili parlors per capita and per square mile than any known city on the continent! Another little known fact is that original chili powder, which was the base for what is known as Texas chili, was invented by DeWitt Clinton Pendery. In 1890, he traveled with his mix, which he called Chiltomaline, from Cincinnati to Fort Worth Texas. This mix was instrumental in creating what we now know as western style chili. Cincinnati chili is a recipe originating with Greek immigrants and the first version was sold at a hot dog stand near the Empress theater by Tom and John Karadjieff in 1922. They altered a traditional Greek stew and served it over hotdogs or spaghetti. This became Empress chili. Other Greek immigrants learned the trade at Empress Chili and then opened their own Chili Parlors. The Sarakatsannis family started Dixie Chili and the Lambrinides family were the originators of Skyline Chili which has gone national in the past few years.
You can order a Cheese Coney, which is a hotdog with mustard on a bun topped with chili, onions and shredded cheese. (or customize by holding the onion, mustard or cheese or even the hotdog, which is a chili sandwich) The traditional 3-way is spaghetti topped with chili and cheese and a 4-way adds onions. (recently beans have been added as a 5-way or in place of onions on a 4-way if you wish)
There are many restaurants serving Cincinnati chili in the area but the Chili Parlors most recognized are Skyline, Dixie Chili, Gold Star and Empress. This chili starts with a traditional mix of meat, cumin and chili powder but the similarities end there. There is often cinnamon and cocoa in the mix. The chili is served with oyster crackers and hot sauce if you choose to use it. I do.
Of course, this is no Weight Watchers meal. I would hate to think of the "points" value! I know many a visitor that has tried chili in a Cincinnati Chili Parlor and been addicted. I have included a recipe link that is fairly close to the original in flavor. If you would like to try it go Here.
We did not stop for ice cream at Graeters as we were absolutely full to capacity! (Graeters is another Cincinnati original) But after a few more stops we decided we did want something sweet.
So we stopped for a creamy whip. Not the homemade taste of Graeters but it is a treat that tells me warm weather is almost here to stay.
This was the only little ice cream stand around us that was open yet. Most were not opening until the following weekend.
Nothing like a beautiful sunny day to make a creamy treat taste just right. We sat at a picnic table in the sun and enjoyed the weather, and the ice cream and one another's company.
The sweet ending to a lovely day.
Have a delicious Friday, P.
P.S. I am unplugging for the rest of the weekend. No computer for me til Sunday evening when I will try to post again about how it went. I am joining Kimba at A Soft Place to Land. I am starting a bit late so I am unplugging tomorrow as well. Join me?
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