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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Toronto, Canada

    Cincinnati Chili

    I'd like some information.

    I am assuming this dish goes well with bourbon and that this justifies its inclusion in this section of the forum. (How could chili NOT go well with bourbon?).

    My query is prompted by the Cincinnati chapter in Calvin Trillin's classic American Fried, a circa-1970 gambol down the byways and highways of American regional cooking, mostly of the fast food or communal eating category.

    In the book he lauds Cincinnati chili. He says it was popularised in the 1920's and is typically served by Greek-American restaurateurs. He says "a bowl of plain" is chili on spaghetti. If you want it "three ways", cheese is added. Four ways is with onions. Five is with beans, son. He says Cincinnatans stop there but he was told of establishments in Covington, KY (across the river) that make a 6- and 7-way version, adding things like eggs and franks.

    He said each neighborhood has a chili parlour and each one is the best!

    My questions: does this chili specialty still exist there?

    If so are there still neighborhood chili joints?

    Is it still called "bowl of plain" where nothing is added and three-way, four-way, etc. where other stuff is put on?

    Is Covington still trying to trump the classic Cinnci version?

    Finally: who makes the best chili in Cinnci?

    Last edited by Gillman; 10-30-2006 at 05:12.



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