History of Ohio Cuisine

January 3, 2014 at 9:57 AM | Posted in cooking, Food | 2 Comments
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Nosed around today and found some interesting food history of around Ohio. Thought I would pass it along, Enjoy!

 

 

 

Buckeye candy

Buckeye candy

Ohio
A popular way to order pizza is “fold over” style. A fold over pizza has a layer of crust on the bottom and on the top, with typical pizza toppings in between. Unlike a calzone or turnover, in which the ingredients are completely sealed in with dough, a fold over resembles a sandwich.
A confection indigenous to the state of Ohio is the local variation of a peanut butter cup known as a ‘Buckeye’. Coated in chocolate, with a partially exposed peanut butter center, in appearance the candy resembles the chestnut that grows on the state tree.
Cincinnati-style chili is a dish consisting of spaghetti noodles, a thin meat chili, covered with shredded cheese, as served by Skyline Chili and others. In the Cleveland and Cincinnati areas, a popular dish are Sauerkraut Balls. Sauerkraut Balls are meatball-like snack foods eaten as appetizers or as bar food. The recipe was invented in the late 1950s by two brothers, Max and Roman Gruber. They created the dish to serve in their five star restaurant, Gruber’s, located in Shaker Heights, Ohio. These were a derivative of the various ethnic cultures of Northeast Ohio, which includes Akron and Greater Cleveland. A once-famous but now closed restaurant in Vermilion, Ohio, was McGarvey’s, which was famous for its Sauerkraut Balls as well as for its charismatic owner, Captain Eddie, and its location near the scenic Vermilion River.
Clam bakes are more popular in Northeast Ohio than any other region of the United States outside of New England. The region was originally the Connecticut Western Reserve, and its first settlers came from Connecticut and other New England states. A typical clam bake in Northeast Ohio includes a dozen clams with a half chicken, sweet potatoes, corn, and other side dishes. Seaweed is not used and the clams, chicken, and sweet potatoes are all steamed together in a large pot. The spelling “clambake” is usually preferred in this part of the country.

 

 

Barberton, Ohio
Part of the greater Akron area, this small industrial city with a strong Central and Eastern European heritage has a culinary contribution called Barberton Chicken[citation needed], created by Serbian immigrants, deep fried in lard[citation needed], and usually accompanied by a hot rice dish, vinegar coleslaw and french fries.

 

 

 

A Cincinnati chili 4-way garnished with oyster crackers

A Cincinnati chili 4-way garnished with oyster crackers

Cincinnat
The Queen City is known for its namesake, Greek-influenced “Cincinnati chili”. Unlike other forms of chili, Cincinnati-style chili is almost never consumed by itself and is a staple of “three-way” spaghetti, cheese coneys, and various dips. Goetta, a sausage made from pork and oats, often eaten at breakfast, and opera cream chocolates are less-famous local specialties. The city also has a strong German heritage and a variety of German-oriented restaurants can be found in the area.

 

 

Cleveland
Cleveland’s many immigrant groups and heavily blue-collar demographic have long played an important role in defining the area’s cuisine. Ethnically, Italian foods as well as several Eastern European cuisines, particularly those of Poland and Hungary, have become gastronomical staples in the Greater Cleveland area. Prominent examples of these include cavatelli, rigatoni, pizza, Chicken paprikash, stuffed cabbage, pierogi, and kielbasa all of which are widely popular in and around the city. Local specialties, such as the pork-based dish City Chicken and the Polish Boy (a loaded sausage sandwich native to Cleveland), are dishes definitive of a cuisine that is based on hearty, inexpensive fare. Commercially, Hector Boiardi (aka Chef Boyardee) started his business in Cleveland’s Little Italy, and Mr. Hero, a regional sandwich shop franchise, is based in the area.
Sweets specific to the Cleveland area include the coconut bar (similar in many respects to the Australian Lamington). Coconut bars, which are found in many Jewish bakeries in the area, are small squares of cake that have been dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut. In Italian bakeries around the Cleveland area, a variation of the Cassata cake is widely popular. This local version is unlike those typically found elsewhere being that it is made with layers of sponge cake custard and strawberries, then frosted with whipped cream. In a celebrity-chef nod to this version, Mario Batali as ‘the best cassata cake in the USA.

 

 

Columbus
The Columbus, Ohio, area is the home and birthplace of many well-known fast food chains, especially those known for hamburgers. Wendy’s opened its first store in Columbus in 1969, and is now headquartered in nearby Dublin. America’s oldest hamburger chain, White Castle, is based there. Besides burgers, Columbus is noted for the German Village, a neighborhood south of downtown where German cuisine such as sausages and kuchen are served. In recent years, local restaurants focused on organic, seasonal, and locally and/or regionally sourced food have become more prevalent, especially in the Short North area, between downtown and the OSU campus. Numerous Somali restaurants are also found in the city, particularly around Cleveland Avenue.

 

 

Klondike Bar

Klondike Bar

Mansfield, Ohio
Mansfield is the home of two well-known food companies. Isaly Dairy Company (AKA Isaly’s) was a chain of family-owned dairies and restaurants started by William Isaly in the early 1900s until the 1970s, famous for creating the Klondike Bar ice cream treat, popularized by the slogan “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?”. Stewart’s Restaurants is a chain of root beer stands started in Mansfield by Frank Stewart in 1924, famous for their Stewart’s Fountain Classics line of premium beverages now sold worldwide.

 

 

2 Comments »

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  1. No idea Klondike was created in Ohio! And now I’m hungry! 🙂

    • Nothing like a Klondike Bar!


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