Cincinnati-style chili? Really

I have grown to ‘get’ a long list of cuisine cherished in this part of the state — stewed tomatoes prepared in old school restaurants, pizza cut in square slices, banana peppers tossed on nearly every sub…

Cincinnati-style chili is not on the ‘I get list.’

Maybe it's me.

Tons of people around here would welcome a chili transfusion.

I, on the other hand, find this cinnamon-flavored chili - especially when poured over spaghetti - disturbing.

This comes from someone who loves unorthodox regional food.

I’d give my eyetooth for a good hot brown in Louisville or a slinger in St. Louis.

My motto: when in Rome eat like the Romanians.

In Boston, you’ve got to try the clam chowder. In the Florida Keys, you’ve got to eat the conch fritters.

One simply can’t leave New Orleans without sucking the brain out of at least one boiled crawfish.

Nearly every place has its own special dish.

Cleveland, my hometown, has a thing for Polish boys - fried or grilled kielbasa sausages tucked in a bun and covered with french fries, coleslaw and barbecue sauce.


Local food speaks volumes about the place and the people who settled there.

Skyline Chili — the most loved brand — has a famed backstory about a Greek immigrant with big dreams who named his first restaurant overlooking the Cincinnati skyline.

I love the remarkable backstory; the Cincinnati-style chili, not so much.

It doesn’t matter if it is done two-way (chili and spaghetti); three-way (chili, spaghetti, and cheese); four-way( chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions) or five-way (chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans) when it comes to Cincinnati-style chili, the answer is no way for me.

The subject can cause fistfights as passions run deep from people who love it and dislike it greatly.

And there is brand loyalty like the uninformed would never believe.

A friend will verbally karate chop any one who speaks poorly of her favorite chili source.

She’ll probably be hiding in my apartment when I get home.

I get that people almost always have an affinity for the foods they grew up eating - Dan Dee potato chips for instance are tops in my mind. That said, come on southwest Ohio.

If people in Dayton crave something from Cincinnati, that something should be awesome.

In goetta, you’ve already got something betta.

The dish thought introduced by money-strapped German-Americans could give scapple (a mush of pork scraps, cornmeal , flour and spices embraced by some folks in the Mid-Atlantic states) run for its money.

The breakfast sausage made of ground meat and steel-cut oats could easily remind area little boys and girls of home.

Close your eyes and imagine a goetta stand on every street corner.

OK, stop.

That could be risk. Someone might try to pour Cincinnati-style chili on top of it and sell it as the six-way.

Let’s send Cincinnati some stewed tomatoes instead.

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