Kentucky, Can We Finally Settle This Debate With Ohio? Do Noodles Go in Chili?
There's nothing better in the winter than a big bowl of chili. I think we can all agree that it's pretty much one of THE iconic go-to dishes of fall and winter. It is a preeminent comfort food. While we all likely agree on that, it's entirely possible that we don't agree on much else as far as chili is concerned.
Of course, I think the biggest chili-related debate concerns the presence of noodles. Some folks like noodles in their chili. Others, like my longtime friend Jeff Manley, clearly does not. I would like to present Exhibit A- Jeff's recent Facebook post.
When I saw Jeff's post, I immediately served up my response. It was a simple command that implored him to "Preach!" See, I am not a fan of noodles in my chili either. And, look! I realize that a many folks out there are Team Jeff and Team Chad. However, there are a lot of people in this world- many of whom reside in our border state of Ohio- who can't imagine chili without noodles.
After all, that makes sense. The tradition of adding noodles to chili traces to Ohio, the home of Cincinnati-style chili. You know what I am talking about, right? A recent article by Resto NYC sums up their version of the dish perfectly. It says, "Cincinnati-style chili has become so popular it's now recognized as its own distinct cuisine. The noodles are cooked separately and the served topped with chili, cheese, and onions."
When I think of Cincinnati-inspired chili, I immediately think of Skyline Chili.
I get it. I understand it. But no offense to Skyline, I just don't want it. I am a traditionalist and have exceptionally strong feelings about this. Others, like The Ghost of Thor Radio Show host Erich Stranger, like chili any way it's served.
It's possible that chili dates all the way back to the 1600s and has its very early origins, believe it or not, in Spain. Guess what? The initial incarnations of the dish (and the dishes that consequently evolved out of Texas a couple of hundred years later) didn't have any noodles in them. Meat was the star of the show.
So, what's your preference? Do you like your chili with or without noodles?