Every time I spell "Cincinnati", I want to use two "N"s in both spots ... kind of like Mississippi. Two "S"s in both spots.
I'm not from Cincinnati. Not even from Ohio. But I love Cincinnati Chili. I had it for the first time when I was in college and I accompanied on piano a sax player from Cincinnati. He promised me that he and his wife would show me what real chili was all about. None of this west of the Mississippi stuff that Texans bragged about, they said.
Apparently, you can have your chili any one way of four ...
- two-way: spaghetti and chili
- three-way: spaghetti, chili, and shredded cheese
- four-way: spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, and either diced onions or beans
- five-way: spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, diced onions, and beans
And apparently, you must assemble the dish in the correct order with the spaghetti first, then the chili, then ... well, I'm not sure what next because we didn't use beans, only chili and cheese: Three-way Cincinnati Chili. Do the beans or onions go on TOP of the cheese?
Furthermore, apparently, you can buy spice mixes. But, you know me .... My question is: how hard is it to measure your own spices and tailor them to your tastes? The answer: Not very! And besides, it will keep you from paying shipping on a spice packet that probably has ingredients you shouldn't be ingesting anyway.
This chili can be a bit spicy and it definitely has a deep, well-rounded flavor given that it has cocoa, cinnamon, cloves, all-spice as well as onions, garlic, and cayenne ... it's like Morocco and Texas met up in a back alley somewhere to duke it out only to come to a favorable compromise.
Sadly, I don't have a photo of ours ... we devoured it too quickly and my son, Ben, encouraged me to make extra batches of it to freeze so he can take it to his college apartment with him next fall. Oh, and he wants a large pot to boil spaghetti in. And a grater for the cheese. I think he liked it.
I found a good article about the chili HERE and think you might enjoy it as well.
Have you ever had Cincinnati Chili? Do you like it? 2-way? 3-way? or beyond?!