Thursday, October 8, 2009

Skyline Chili - Recipe For Success

By Deschain Anderson

If you have never tasted the world famous Skyline Chili, you don't know what you're missing! The "Official" chili of the Cincinnati Reds, the Columbus Blue Jackets and King's Island Amusement Part, this award winning chili is in a class all it's own. It's not a California style chili, made with tomatoes and beans. And it's not a Tex-Mex chili, made with big chunks of meat. It's Cincinnati Chili and it has a secret blend of spices that gives it a very distinctive taste. Instead of the beans, it's usually served over hot dogs or spaghetti.

The Skyline Chili restaurant chain, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, was originally founded in 1949 by Greek immigrant, Nicholas Lambrinides. The first restaurant was named for it's panoramic view of the beautiful Cincinnati skyline and by 1953, Lambrinides was ready to open his second restaurant. The business quickly expanded in the 1960's and by the end of the century there were well over 100 Skyline restaurants, most located in Ohio, but also in Kentucky, Indiana and Florida.

Nobody knows the exact recipe for this marvelous chili. It's a well guarded family secret. Many have tried to duplicate it, but....Most people do seem to agree though, that it does contain two key ingredients - cinnamon and chocolate. This educated guess is based on traditional Greek recipes that often contain those two ingredients.

When ordering your chili at Skyline, you really can't have it YOUR way, but you can have it FIVE ways! Skyline Chili - Menu Translation * Two Way - spaghetti topped with Skyline Chili. * Three Way - spaghetti topped with Skyline Chili and cheese. * Four Way - spaghetti topped with Skyline Chili and cheese and your choice of beans or onions. * Five Way - spaghetti topped with Skyline Chili AND cheese AND beans AND Onions!

Mr. Lambrinides died in 1962 at the age of 82, but his sons continued to operate and expand the company. They retained the original recipe unchanged, though. According to William Lambrinides, "Dad always said, 'Don't change a thing with the recipe " don't add anything, don't take out anything, it's perfect the way it is'.

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