One of America’s Favorites – Cincinnati Chili

June 28, 2021 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A Cincinnati chili 4-way garnished with oyster crackers

Cincinnati chili (or Cincinnati-style chili) is a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce used as a topping for spaghetti or hot dogs (“coneys”); both dishes were developed by Macedonian immigrant restaurateurs in the 1920s. In 2013, Smithsonian named it one of the “20 Most Iconic Foods in America”. Its name evokes comparison to chili con carne, but the two are dissimilar in consistency, flavors and serving methods, which for Cincinnati chili more resemble Greek pasta sauces and the spiced-meat hot dog topping sauces seen in other parts of the United States.

Ingredients include ground beef, water or stock, tomato paste, spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, cumin, chili powder, bay leaf, and in some home recipes unsweetened dark chocolate in a soupy consistency. The most popular order is a ‘three-way’, which adds shredded cheddar cheese to the chili-topped spaghetti (‘two-way’), while serving it ‘four-‘ or ‘five-ways’ comes from addition of chopped onions and/or beans. Dishes are often served with oyster crackers and a mild hot sauce. Cincinnati chili is almost never served or eaten by the bowl.

While served in many local restaurants, it is most often associated with the over 250 independent and chain “chili parlors” (restaurants specializing in Cincinnati chili) found throughout greater Cincinnati with franchise locations throughout Ohio and in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, and the Middle East. The dish is the Cincinnati area’s best-known regional food.

Skyline Chili location in Cincinnati

Cincinnati chili originated with immigrant restaurateurs from Macedonia who were trying to expand their customer base by moving beyond narrowly ethnic styles of cuisine. Ethnic Macedonians Tom and John Kiradjieff immigrated from the town of Hrupishta (today’s Argos Orestiko in Greece), fleeing the Balkan Wars, ethnic rivalries, and bigotry, in 1921. They began serving a “stew with traditional Mediterranean spices” as a topping for hot dogs which they called “coneys” in 1922 at their hot dog stand located next to a burlesque theater called the Empress, which they named their business after. Tom Kiradjieff used the sauce to modify a traditional Greek dish, speculated to have been pastitsio, moussaka or saltsa kima to come up with a dish he called chili spaghetti. He first developed a recipe calling for the spaghetti to be cooked in the chili but changed his method in response to customer requests and began serving the sauce as a topping, eventually adding grated cheese as a topping for both the chili spaghetti and the coneys, also in response to customer requests.

To make ordering more efficient, the brothers created the “way” system of ordering. The style has since been copied and modified by many other restaurant proprietors, often fellow Greek and Macedonian immigrants who had worked at Empress restaurants before leaving to open their own chili parlors, often following the business model to the point of locating their restaurants adjacent to theaters.

Empress was the largest chili parlor chain in Cincinnati until 1949, when a former Empress employee and Greek immigrant, Nicholas Lambrinides, started Skyline Chili. In 1965, four brothers named Daoud, immigrants from Jordan, bought a restaurant called Hamburger Heaven from a former Empress employee. They noticed that the Cincinnati chili was outselling the hamburgers on their menu and changed the restaurant’s name to Gold Star Chili. As of 2015, Skyline (over 130 locations) and Gold Star (89 locations) were the largest Cincinnati chili parlor chains, while Empress had only two remaining locations, down from over a dozen during the chain’s most successful period.

Gold Star Chili restaurant interior

Besides Empress, Skyline, and Gold Star, there are also smaller chains such as Dixie Chili and Deli and numerous independents including the acclaimed Camp Washington Chili. Other independents include Pleasant Ridge Chili, Blue Ash Chili, Park Chili Parlor, Price Hill Chili, Chili Time, Orlando based Cincinnati Chili Company, and the Blue Jay Restaurant, in all totalling more than 250 chili parlors. In 1985 one of the founders of Gold Star Chili, Fahid Daoud, returned to Jordan, where he opened his own parlor, called Chili House. Outside of Jordan, Chili House as of 2020 had locations in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Oman, Palestine, Turkey and Qatar.

In addition to the chili parlors, some version of Cincinnati chili is commonly served at many local restaurants. Arnold’s Bar and Grill, the oldest bar in the city, serves a vegetarian “Cincy Lentils” dish ordered in “ways.” Melt Eclectic Cafe offers a vegan 3-way. For Restaurant Week 2018, a local mixologist developed a cocktail called “Manhattan Skyline,” a Cincinnati chili-flavored whiskey cocktail.

The history of Cincinnati chili shares many factors in common with the apparently independent but simultaneous development of the Coney Island hot dog in other areas of the United States. “Virtually all” were developed by Greek or Macedonian immigrants who passed through Ellis Island as they fled the fallout from the Balkan Wars in the first two decades of the twentieth century.

Partially eaten 5-way from Skyline, garnished with oyster crackers

Raw ground beef is crumbled in water and/or stock, tomato paste and seasonings are added, and the mixture is brought to a boil and then simmered for several hours to form a thin meat sauce. Many recipes call for an overnight chill in the refrigerator to allow for easy skimming of fat and to allow flavors to develop, then reheating to serve. Typical proportions are 2 pounds of ground beef to 4 cups of water and 6 oz tomato paste to make 8 servings.

Ordering Cincinnati chili is based on a specific ingredient series: chili, spaghetti, shredded 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 onion: spaghetti, chili, onions, and cheese
* Four-way bean: spaghetti, chili, beans, and cheese
* Five-way: spaghetti, chili, beans, onions, and cheese
small oval white plate with cheese coney showing bun, hot dog, sauce, and shredded cheese
Skyline cheese coney (hot dog topped with Cincinnati-style chili, mustard, onions, and a heap of shredded cheese)

Skyline cheese coney (hot dog topped with Cincinnati-style chili, mustard, onions, and a heap of shredded cheese)

* Some chili parlors will also serve the dish “inverted”: cheese on the bottom, so that it melts. 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 ingredients to the way system; for example, Dixie Chili offers a “six-way”, which adds chopped garlic to a five-way. 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 shredded 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.

Very few customers order a bowl of plain chili. Most chili parlors do not offer plain chili as a regular menu item. Polly Campbell, former food editor of The Cincinnati Enquirer, calls ordering a bowl of chili, “Ridiculous. Would you order a bowl of spaghetti sauce? Because that’s what you’re doing.”

Serving and eating
Ways and coneys are traditionally served in a shallow oval bowl. Oyster crackers are usually served with Cincinnati chili,[9] and a mild hot sauce such as Tabasco is frequently available to be used as an optional topping to be added at the table. Locals eat Cincinnati chili as if it were a casserole, cutting each bite with the side of the fork instead of twirling the noodles.

 

Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, Turkey Chili w/ Beans, and Cheese

June 10, 2015 at 5:04 PM | Posted in chili, Hormel, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, Turkey Chili w/ Beans, and Cheese

 
It heated up outside today! Sunny and a high around 87 degrees, and as usual with the heat comes the humidity. A Cincinnati Style 4 Way 014very good day to have the Central Air going. Tried a new product for Breakfast, and I’ve come across a winner! I found this at Kroger yesterday, Smithfield Anytime Hickory Smoked Boneless Sliced Ham. The Ham is precooked so it’s a breeze to prepare. Heat it up in a skillet on medium high heat for just 30 seconds a side, or until heated through. I cooked it 30 seconds and it was heated. Lean, flavorful, and delicious. I’ve got a great new Breakfast Item. Had a Sunnyside Egg and Wheat Toast with it, and my morning cup of Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. Did some laundry for Mom and while her and Dad was out cleaned the house. For dinner tonight it’s Comfort Food Extreme! I prepared a Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, Turkey Chili w/ Beans, and Cheese

 
Being from and living in the Cincinnati area all my life I’ve been around and prepared the local cuisine, and love it! Sausages, Goetta, and the Chili are just endless in varieties around here. And tonight I’m preparing one of my favorites, Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, Turkey Chili w/ Beans, and Cheese. For the Spaghetti I’ll be using my regular Pasta that I use, the Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Spaghetti. The Spaghetti is 180 calories and 35 net carbs, which isn’t bad for Pasta.

 
For the Chili I went with Hormel Turkey Chili with Beans. It’s my favorite canned Chili hands down. It’s a nice thickCincinnati Style 4 Way 002 Chili made with Turkey and seasoned just right with plenty of Beans. It’s also a perfect Chili for making Chili and Cheese Nachos. Then for my Cheese I used Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Sharp Cheddar. I boiled the Spaghetti according to the box instructions and in a sauce pan I heated 1 can of the Hormel Turkey Chili w/ Beans. I added a few shakes of the Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to the Chili. To serve I used a bowl and made a bed of Spaghetti, topped it with the Turkey Chili with Beans, and topped everything with Sargento Cheese. Some mighty fine food! Some people like adding fine diced Onions also, which makes it a 5 Way. So the 4 Way – Spaghetti, Chili, Beans, and Cheese and there you have it! Wow I almost forgot one of the most important parts, Oyster Crackers! Chili Spaghetti is always served with a bowl of Oyster Crackers, why who knows they go great with pasta and chili. I used Skyline Chili Oyster Crackers with a side of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. To properly eat an Oyster Cracker you have to put a couple of drops of Hot Sauce on it!

 

Cincinnati Style 4 Way 006

As the Spaghetti was finishing up I seen we had a 1/4 loaf of Pillsbury Rustic French Bread Loaf leftover from the other night. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees. I sliced the loaf into 5 thin slices, added some fresh sliced Mozzarella Cheese, and topped it with McCormick Grinder Italian Seasoning. Placed it on a small cookie sheet and baked it until the Cheese was melted. Made a perfect side with Spaghetti. For dessert later a bowl of Del Monte Sugarless Peach Slices.

 

 

 

 

Hormel Turkey Chili with BeansHormel Turkey Chili w Beans

Hormel Chili, Turkey with Beans, 99% Fat Free Always easy and always delicious, Hormel® chili is made with carefully selected beef, red beans, tomatoes and a special combination of spices. Our choice ingredients are blended and simmered, resulting in a rich and hearty flavor—perfect for dips, baked potatoes, hamburgers, casseroles, nachos, hot dogs, French fries and so much more. Hormel® chili now comes in 10 varieties and sizes, including a less sodium variety. Whether you serve it in a bowl, on a hot dog, or as a topping for fries and nachos, choose the chili craved by chili lovers—Hormel® chili.

NUTRITION FACTS Serving size 1 cup

Value My Daily Value Calories 210 cal Total Fat 3 g Saturated Fat 1 g Trans Fat 0 g Cholesterol 45 mg Sodium 1200 mg Total Carbohydrate 28 g Dietary Fiber 6 g Sugars 6 g Protein 17 g

http://www.hormelfoods.com/Brands/BrandWall/Hormel-chili

Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, 3 Bean Buffalo Chili, and Cheese

November 3, 2014 at 6:15 PM | Posted in chili, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta, Wild Idea Buffalo | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, 3 Bean Buffalo Chili, and Cheese

 

 

 

3 Bean Buffalo Chili and Spaghetti 005
Not quite as cold this morning, about 39 degrees. Beautiful day out today, sunny and about 58 degrees. Made a light Breakfast, worked out, and ran Mom to Kroger and the Bank. Came back home and finished up some patch work around our new sod that I laid along the driveway. It seems, so far to have solved our drainage problems.For dinner tonight it’s Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, 3 Bean Buffalo Chili, and Cheese.

 

 

 
Last time I made this I used Hormel Turkey Chili w/ Beans as my Chili, which is a good Chili. But it’s not my 3 Bean Buffalo Chili! Made in a Crock Pot with Wild Idea I had 1 container of it left in the freezer so I set it in the fridge to thaw overnight. I’ll be using my regular Pasta, the Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Spaghetti. The Spaghetti is 180 calories and 35 net carbs, which isn’t too bad for Pasta. But it’s becoming tough to find Ronzoni Products around here in the stores. Kroger sells little or none of their items, Walmart it’s hit or miss, Meijer is about the only one to depend on to find it. Anyway for my Cheese I’m using Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Sharp Cheddar. To serve I used a bowl and made a bed of Spaghetti, topped it with the 3 Bean Buffalo Chili, and topped everything with Sargento Cheese. I also added a few shakes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to the Chili as it was being heated. Some mighty fine Chili spaghetti! Some people like adding fine diced Onions also, which would make it a 5 Way. Then for a side, one of the most important parts, Oyster Crackers! Chili Spaghetti is always served with a bowl of Oyster Crackers, why who knows. I used Skyline Chili Oyster Crackers with a side of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. To properly eat an Oyster Cracker you have to put 2 or 3 drops of Hot Sauce on it! At the end of the post I’ve left the 3 Bean Buffalo Chili Recipe, which I need to be making a new batch of soon. For dessert later a bowl of Del Monte No sugar Added Peach Chunks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crock Pot 3 Bean Buffalo Chili3-bean-buffalo-chili-001

Ingredients:

2 lb. Ground Wild Idea Ground Buffalo3-bean-buffalo-chili-001
2 Cans (6 oz.) Hunt’s Tomato Paste
1 Can (15 oz.) Chili Beans
1 Can (15 oz.) Kidney Beans, rinsed
1 Can (15 oz.) Great Northern Beans, rinsed
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Packet McCormick Chili Mix
1 White Onion (medium), Chopped or Minced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, Unseeded and Chopped
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Tbs Ground Cocoa Chili Blend (McCormick)
1/2 Tsp Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper (McCormick)
1 Tbs. Ground Roasted Cumin
2 Tsps Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbs of Cilantro Leaves
5 Dashes of Frank’s Hot Sauce or to taste.
Shredded Cheese, I used Grated Dutch Gouda (Topping)
Oyster Crackers

Directions:
*Brown Buffalo in large saucepan on medium-high heat 10 min. or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Add all remaining spices and ingredients except 1 can of the tomato paste.
*ADD to slow cooker and add in the remaining 1 can of tomato paste and 1/2 cup of water.
*COVER with lid. Cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours (or on LOW 5 to 6 hours).

*Serve in bowl or mug with cheese and the oyster crackers, A Tablespoon of fat-free sour cream, or serve with some home made cornbread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Idea Buffalo Ground Round 99 free
Wild Idea Buffalo Ground Round, 99% Lean

We use the Top Round and the Sirloin Tip cuts and remove all visible fat, for this super lean meat. It is rich and dark in taste and color. Substitute for any of your favorite ground dishes.

http://wildideabuffalo.com/

 

Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, Turkey Chili, Beans, and Cheese

July 9, 2014 at 5:23 PM | Posted in cheese, chili, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta, Sargento's Cheese | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today’s Menu: Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, Turkey Chili, Beans, and Cheese

 

 

 

4 Way Chili Spaghetti 004
Being from and living in the Cincinnati area all my life I’ve been around and prepared the local cuisine, and love it! Sausages, Goetta, and the Chili are just endless in varieties around here. And tonight I’m preparing one of my favorites, Cincinnati Style 4 Way – Spaghetti, Turkey Chili, Beans, and Cheese. For the Spaghetti I’ll be using my regular Pasta that I use, the Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Grain Spaghetti. The Spaghetti is 180 calories and 35 net carbs, which isn’t bad for Pasta.

 

 

 
I had wanted to use some of the Buffalo Chili that I prepare but as I searched the freezers I found out that I was all out of it, I will be preparing more of that soon. So I went with Hormel Turkey Chili with Beans instead. It’s my favorite canned Chili hands down. It’s a nice thick Chili made with Turkey and seasoned just right with plenty of Beans. It’s also a perfect Chili for making Chili and Cheese Nachos. Then for my Cheese I used Sargento Reduced Fat Shredded Sharp Cheddar. To serve I used a bowl and made a bed of Spaghetti, topped it with the Turkey Chili with Beans, and topped everything with Sargento Cheese. I also added a few shakes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to the Chili as it was being heated. Some mighty fine food! Some people like adding fine diced Onions also, which makes it a 5 Way. So the 4 Way – Spaghetti, Chili, Beans, and Cheese and there you have it! Wow I almost forgot one of the most important parts, Oyster Crackers! Chili Spaghetti is always served with a bowl of Oyster Crackers, why who knows. I used Skyline Chili Oyster Crackers with a side of frank’s Red Hot Sauce. To properly eat an Oyster Cracker you have to put 2 or 3 drops of Hot Sauce on it! For dessert later a Weight Watchers Snack Size Dutch Chocolate and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Sandwich.

 

 

 

 

 

Hormel Turkey Chili w Beans
Hormel Turkey Chili with Beans

Hormel Chili, Turkey with Beans, 99% Fat Free Always easy and always delicious, Hormel® chili is made with carefully selected beef, red beans, tomatoes and a special combination of spices. Our choice ingredients are blended and simmered, resulting in a rich and hearty flavor—perfect for dips, baked potatoes, hamburgers, casseroles, nachos, hot dogs, French fries and so much more. Hormel® chili now comes in 10 varieties and sizes, including a less sodium variety. Whether you serve it in a bowl, on a hot dog, or as a topping for fries and nachos, choose the chili craved by chili lovers—Hormel® chili.

 

 

NUTRITION FACTS Serving size 1 cup

Value My Daily Value Calories 210 cal Total Fat 3 g Saturated Fat 1 g Trans Fat 0 g Cholesterol 45 mg Sodium 1200 mg Total Carbohydrate 28 g Dietary Fiber 6 g Sugars 6 g Protein 17 g

 

 

http://www.hormelfoods.com/Brands/BrandWall/Hormel-chili

 

 

 
Ronzoni Healthy Harvestronz (1)

 

Here’s something to absorb: One serving of RONZONI HEALTHY HARVEST pasta has over 20% of your daily recommended fiber intake – but did you know that fiber is good for you in more ways than just digestion?

People with diets high in fiber have a lower risk for weight gain, obesity, development of insulin resistance and diabetes. Fiber also prevents constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulosis, but it also helps reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases like colon and breast cancer. Fiber may help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. It can also help lower blood sugar to better manage diabetes.

Dietary fiber is the edible part of plants, primarily carbohydrates that are resistant to digestion and absorption in the small intestine. Fiber may be digested by fermentation in the large intestine. By eating high fiber foods you feel fuller, eat less, with fewer absorbed calories.

Fiber comes in two basic forms – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, seeds, brown rice, oats and barley. It prevents or reduces the absorption of certain substances into the bloodstream. Insoluble fiber is found mainly in whole grains and on the outside of seeds, fruits, legumes, and other foods. It is like a sponge that swells within the intestine to promote more efficient elimination and alleviate some digestive disorders.

Fiber is found only in plant foods and passes through the digestive tract without being completely broken down. Being indigestible, fiber provides no nutrients to the body, which is why for many years it was removed from processed foods like white bread. But, nutritionists have since discovered that fiber performs valuable functions precisely because it is not digested, and it is essential to good health.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 2oz (56g) Dry Uncooked
Servings per Container: About 7

Amount Per Serving

Calories 180 Calories from Fat 10

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 1g 2%

Saturated Fat 0g 0%

Trans Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg 0%

Sodium 0mg 0%

Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%

Dietary Fiber 6g 23%

Sugars <1g

Protein 7g

 

http://ronzonihealthyharvest.newworldpasta.com/pasta_nutrition.cfm?prodId=003340006502

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