Monday, October 31, 2005

Cultural food differences

This is very off-topic, but I had to get it off my chest:

For a real Texan, chili is one of the basic food groups. I am not in the spicier-is-best camp, nor am I a snob about leaving beans out (there's nothing wrong with them, even if they are banned at many chili cookoffs). The heartier and meatier the better, I say.

Imagine my surprise when I moved to the midwest, within shouting distance of Cincinnati, which proclaims itself the chili capital of the world. The 800-lb. gorilla of the chili market there is Skyline, which my very Texan grandpa likes but describes as "different". No joke, Grandpa. I had my first taste and was unimpressed, probably because it tasted like cinnamon and is known to have some amount of chocolate in it. Yikes.

We had a potluck lunch at work today, where the main course was a crock pot of chili cooked up by a nice lady from Indiana. She called it "chili soup", and it was soup-like in its texture and ingredients, which included a fair number of broken spaghetti noodles. I liked it enough to get full, but I couldn't help but long for the days when real Texas chili could be had so easily.

Until then, I will make do with a new favorite: the chili five-way at Steak 'n' Shake. This is honestly edible, and nowhere near as sweet as Skyline's similar dish. If anyone out there is aware of a good place to find decent chili in this part of the world, shoot me a comment with the relevant details.


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Blogger Chris said...

You could always try making it at home. My Yankee wife does a pretty good job w/ chili.

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