I am proud to say I was born in and grew up in the grand Queen City: Cincinnati Ohio. It's a wonderful place.
I grew up with a lot of wonderies in Cincinnati. Indian Mounds, the Cincinnati Zoo, the field of Daffodils at the Krohn Conservatory, Kings Island... well those are the major players in my memory. There's actually a lot of really wonderful history in Cincinnati. But kids don't pay much attention to that stuff.
One thing the kid me did pay attention to was food. Enter: Skyline Chili. Skyline is the name of the restaurant which made Cincinnati-style Chili famous. (There's also Gold Star, but this cousin of the chili world doesn't get as much love. I don't know who came first, do you?) Named for the beautiful Skyline that befalls the city, it's a staple of Cincinnati culture. One of my first dates with Mark was eating ice cream across the Ohio River in Kentucky, admiring the lights, bridges, and architecture.
We love and miss Skyline.
Being across the country and being vegetarian poses two obstacles for us. I've concurred them.
Originally our family would bring or send packets of "Cincinnati-Style Chili Mix". It tasted good but the corn syrup solids and BHT ended up leaving a salty coating in our mouths.
I decided to tackle it. Make it From Scratch. I'm not a big From Scratch cook. I mean, I cook a lot, and love to, but the term From Scratch conjures up images of long-simmered beefy stews, or croissants, or other things that require a lot of time, measuring, and planning. But this seemed do-able to me. I found a recipe and dove in.
Look at all the spice jars I had open! Allspice! Cinnamon! Paprika! Chili Powder!
It was so good. We used veggie-dogs to make a Coney.
It wasn't quite the same - at Skyline the hot dogs are miniature, as are the buns. But still great. Something about that finely shredded mild cheddar cheese + spicy sweet chili soaked into white spongy bread. Oh yum! My favorite is still the classic 3-Way. Spaghetti with chili and lots of cheese. And a side of oyster crackers.
And then... there's the Dip. This is how we usually introduce newbies to Skyline. It's portable, sits in your tummy like a flat tire, and is addictive.
|Cream Cheese + Chili + Cheese|
I'm not going to post the recipe I used, because It's not quite right. I need to experiment. There are lots out there, though. Here is one that looks reputable.
For the meat-eaters who want to try it in it's original glory, you can get it on Amazon.
Also, it should be noted, the last meat I did ever eat was a Chili Sandwich with my friend Brittany sometime in 1991. It was my last cheat. And totally worth it.