Cincinnati Chili!

February 23, 2017 at 3:48 PM | Posted in cheese, chili | Leave a comment
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A Cincinnati chili 5-way over spaghetti

A Cincinnati chili 5-way over spaghetti

A little background on the Chili I raised on, Cincinnati Chili!

 

Cincinnati chili (or Cincinnati-style chili) is a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce used as a topping for spaghetti (a”two-way”) or hot dogs (“coneys”), both dishes developed by Greek-Macedonian immigrant restaurateurs in the 1920s. Ingredients include ground beef, stock, tomato paste, cinnamon, other Mediterranean spices and sometimes chocolate in a soup-like consistency. Other toppings include cheese, onions, and beans; specific combinations of toppings are known as “ways”. The name “Cincinnati chili” is often confusing to those unfamiliar with it, who expect the dish to be similar to chili con carne; as a result, it is common for those encountering it for the first time to conclude it is a poor example of chili.

 

 

 

A Cincinnati chili 4-way garnished with oyster crackers

A Cincinnati chili 4-way garnished with oyster crackers

While served in many local restaurants, it is most often associated with the over 250 “chili parlors”, restaurants specializing in Cincinnati chili, found throughout greater Cincinnati with franchise locations throughout Ohio and in Kentucky, Indiana, and Florida. The dish is the area’s best-known regional food.
Ordering Cincinnati chili is based on a specific ingredient series: chili, spaghetti, grated cheddar cheese, diced onions, and kidney beans. The number before the “way” of the chili determines which ingredients are included in each chili order. Customers order a:

Two-way: spaghetti topped with chili (also called “chili spaghetti”)
* Three-way: spaghetti, chili, and cheese
* Four-way: spaghetti, chili, cheese, and onions
* Four-way bean: spaghetti, chili, cheese, and beans (beans substituted for the onions)
* Five-way: spaghetti, chili, cheese, onions, and beans
Some restaurants, among them Skyline and Gold Star, do not use the term “four-way bean”, instead using the term “four-way” to denote a three-way plus the customer’s choice of onions or beans. Some restaurants may add extra

Cheese coneys

Cheese coneys

ingredients to the “way” system; for example, Dixie Chili offers a “six-way”, which adds chopped garlic to a five-way. “Ways” are traditionally served in a shallow oval bowl. Cincinnati chili is also used as a hot dog topping to make a “coney”, a regional variation on the Coney Island chili dog, which is topped with grated cheddar cheese to make a “cheese coney”. The standard coney also includes mustard and chopped onion. The “Three-way” and the “Cheese Coney” are the most popular orders and very few customers order a bowl of plain chili. Most chili parlors do not offer plain chili as a regular menu item. Oyster crackers are usually served with Cincinnati chili, and a mild hot sauce such as Tabasco is frequently used as an optional topping.

 

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