Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati chili (or "Cincinnati-style chili") is a regional style of chili characteristically served over spaghetti or as a hot dog sauce. While served in many regular restaurants, it is most often associated with several fast-food chains in the Cincinnati area, including Skyline Chili, Gold Star, Empress, and Dixie. The chili is mostly served in restaurants in the Greater Cincinnati area, with locations in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. This type of chili is also served in some restaurants in the Cleveland, Ohio area. According to the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cincinnatians consume more than two million pounds of chili each year, topped by 850,000 pounds of shredded cheddar cheese. Each September, the city celebrates "Chilifest" at Yeatman's Cove at the Ohio River, with food and entertainment.

Cincinnati chili seems to have originated with one or more immigrant restaurateurs from Greece

who were trying to broaden their customer base by moving beyond narrowly ethnic styles of cuisine.

Greek immigrants Tom and John Kiradjieff began serving the chili in 1922 at their hot dog stand, next to a burlesque theater called the Empress. Tom Kiradjieff invented the style by modifying a traditional stew and serving it over hot dogs and spaghetti. The style has since been copied and modified by many other restaurant proprietors.

When served on a coney-style hot dog, the chili is also topped with cheese. The default coney also includes mustard and a small amount of onion.

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