Chile, Chili, Cincinnati Chili discussed on Omnibus! With Ken Jennings and John Roderick


Have you had Cincinnati Chili. I have had Chili and I've had spaghetti. I've never had them together really. I've sat at the table. You know that little Chilly place that somehow still thereby the Ballard bridge that little for sure. Do you go there all the time you've been there. That looks like he did in one thousand nine hundred twelve. That's it's wonderful. I have eaten something else there while somebody else that place in Cincinnati I think and I have eaten there while my friend had Cincinnati Chili and I think that was the first time I knew of Cincinnati Chili and I was kind of appalled. So what you're the place you're describing is a place called Mike Chili Parlor. And it is. It's right by the Ballard Bridge and it is like a very interesting to those of you. Who Live in Bulgaria or tearing off Waco it is it is it does have the yield the appearance and they do a form of Cincinnati Chili. Although I wouldn't I wouldn't describe it as like the perfection of the form. It's its own thing do they claim that it's Cincinnati. That's what it says on the menu. I think right on their little chalkboard I mean they need to say that. Because there's a lot of confusion when you start talking about Chile particularly now but in fact in a way always because Chile has a already issues with defining chilly. Right within doesn't doesn't have much within people that care about Chile. They are already arguing over whether or not you should put a single grain of of pepper in it if you can still call it chili if you if it has if it has anything other than is that a real thing which spices it has absolutely people care about Chili. A Lot. And I don't know I don't know if I understand it is it because of the maybe the spiciness of the dish has led to this kind of competitive cook off angle where it becomes kind of a masculine thing who can make the fiery Chilli. Six alarm seven alarm. Look out ladies aid alarm? It's Dan in Chile. Is Chile is an American a northern Mexico Texas southwest kind of invention. It's not A. It's not a thing that that is as old as time. It started to develop around the the mid nineteenth century. Originally Chile was a thing that you were that they would cook in pots as kind of meat and spice Concoction and then they would condense it right take the water out of it until it until it became a block like a like. You would head out on the trail that was about to say. So it's like it's like trail food yeah with a with a block of Chili Starter. And then you would take this block and add water. Cook it in your steel hot on invented. Campbell's condensed soup. Yeah it was a it was kind of food that you could like basically freeze dried camp food in the mid nineteenth century. But it doesn't really like the olmecs didn't eat chilis what you're saying. It doesn't have a lot of apparent. Mesoamerican antecedent no and the original chilly as described did not have beans in it it. I mean beans were a or a popular food in the southwest. But the Chili itself was this sort of combined dried beef chipped beef combined with Chili seasoning and and and didn't even have tomato in it. I you know being so tomato. Yeah it was just like when you find out that pizza just used to be flat bread with olive oil on it and so when when people started and the desire to to have a the impulse to have chilly be kind of specialty dish. That you worked hard on was also. It's it's contemporaneous with barbecue. Also being kind of regional specialty. That has the Saint Louis Barbecue. People will argue that they're barbecue puts the Carolina Barbecue to shame and so forth. I think the boundary wars are in effect of these being safe culinary fields for men At a time when it would have been to feminizing for men to have BROWNIE RECIPE CAKES. But the still the impulse to make delicious food is obviously not gendered are messed up culture of the time and maybe now so many should try delicious. King. I'd love to try your delicious cakes. Is that a euphemism. Never eat anything I offer you. You're always like oh no that's fine as though as though my food is like somehow. I don't know full of you just whistle Safeway cakes. I was eating some like trail. Mix upstairs and you were like. You can't eat that. Don't eat that but the thing about Chili and barbecue. Is there specific qualities that make it seemingly safe in a masculine world? The spiciness both of them for example are very hardy. Meat Heavy Foods. Barbecue has kind of the outdoor opened fire thing which which I guess makes it seem plausibly. Masculine show has a different kind of heat. It's got the spicy this and then just because there's men involved that turns into this pissing contest over. Can you mustard in the sauce? Can you have beans and the Chili like you notice? Women don't fighting not fighting about whether or not chocolate chip. Cookies should have walnuts. The women in my family do good sir. In fact Chile was originally a thing that was that was developed by Mexican women and Tejano Women Interesting. So it was. It was when it first arrived on the scene like the Chili was popularized in the city of San Antonio and there and the the women that were famous for making it in their Chilly joints as they were called. We're known as the Chili Queens of San Antonio she'll be joint so there is a restaurant you would go just to have Chili. You're sweaty. You're off the trail. That's right chilly. Joints Well No. I think this is by the late nineteenth century when it had started to become a a cuisine rather than I mean you know working class cuisine but but not a cowboy fees are diners now and it was really the the Columbia Exposition in Chicago that brought Chile to the wider world. It's always that damn world fairly is what the world would be like if Chicago had been like. No pass like L. A. Trying to get rid of the Olympics. We don't have a world's fair seems like a lot of trouble to have a big white city. It's always it's always you can. I mean how many things in the omnibus have. We traced back to the exposition every single omnibus entry. You look at any of this copping. That's world's world's fair chastity belts world's fair George Bush's crack dealer world world's fair so so the world went to the Chicago world's fair in one thousand nine hundred and there was a you know a Texas pavilion and They were serving Chilean. It really struck a resonant chord with people as we sign that the what would the Doritos entry you know like South? Western food was delicious and nobody knew it was a there was a weird mark imbalance. There is an arbitrage opportunity. Like it's kind of like when Thai food hadn't caught on yet. There's this amazing food and nobody knows nobody's heard of it and you hear it is and it's really easy to make and it it wasn't it was right at that same time. Eighteen ninety four that the first packaged Chili powder was introduced. Prior to that. You know you obviously people were making chili powder around the world by grinding chilies. But it was the first time someone had taken chili powder and and and made an industrial product out of it so immediately afterwards after the world's fair suddenly you could acquire chili powder and use it as season. People were so elsewhere in America and even Europe people were not putting chili powder in their eggs or their soups or whatever. Well you know Paprika there were the pets pre come on. Chile was used as a spice in Asia. I mean Chili's have been a have been a food seasoning. People knew about Chile as a pepper right and you and you could dry it and grind it. It just wasn't a thing you buy a store. It was a. It was a preparation right that year. That you would make as part of making your regional cuisine. But it wasn't a thing where you would buy a package of an experiment with it. Like what if we put? Chili in in lemonade. What if we put Chili? What if we sprinkled it on ourselves before we made love? This is what happens today. Like Chili's on desserts like all these fancy restaurants. Do you think that it's odd? That Chile is named for the pepper. Right right like I think Chile as a growing up on mid century candidate. I think of it as a meeting. Bean dish that was always my dad's to dish when he had to cook. Dad's like my mom. My Mom's she's not not unlike your mom she's a busy be hard worker. Always got something going on. She would have party when we were little. She would have a part time job at a embroidery store at the northgate mall or she worked the King Tut exhibition when it came to seventy eight or whenever. That was a proctor yes she was a out in the amateur Dosen of some kind and whenever my mom was on my dad didn't have that many options. It was either going to be fried egg sandwiches or can't show and of course we love that because Friday sandwiches and Arcane chillier delicious right and so the idea like I always think that Chile has to have beans. But I'm not crazy about the beans right so I was happy about the discovery later in life there these purists who don't want beans in there chilly the Texas Style Chili. But it's weird that these trail people would not have been there chilly. It's a common part of that cuisine. Right it's it's less perishable than the meat or anything else you're putting in there. They would have had beans with the meal. Just didn't put it in dump it in the Chili and I think they're not wrong. I think doesn't do that. Show any favors well. And so this period right the the late nineteenth century early twentieth century so much was happening in in America. This at this time it was a time of great it's always a time of great people on Omnibus but this in particular was a time of a lot of immigration to the United States. People coming from all over but also a sense of kind of integrating the south into the southwest in particular into American culture like Texas had always been a far away place in now. Texas was becoming becoming more than just a like a wild outpost but but Texas Food Texas stuff was was in vogue. I wonder if some cash aid from its unique history as a formerly independent country Cadillac. One Hawaii joined the Union. And then we're all like who pineapple tell us more well and the period between the rise of the railroads and the motorcar which would allow you to from Ohio drive down to Texas and check it out and come home by the by by early. Nineteen Ten's Texas Chili Parlors. Were starting to open up around. The country. Like hamburger stands and people were a chilly was kind of a thing that not not quite exotic but but it was a new a new style. It's cheap and it's Philip. Heep working and it actually has flavor right which used to be kind of expensive people's food you know..

Coming up next