March 30, 2011
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You hear this on a regular basis, mostly from Texans. The fact is that many delicious traditional (and non-traditional) chilis are made with beans and/or tomatoes. There is in fact some basis for this myth. Traditional Texas-style chili is usually made without beans or tomatoes, and it can be great, but that’s just one regional variant.
What about “Cincinnati” chili? I used to think it was meant as a variant on southwestern chili, and a very poor one at that. I learned later that Cincinnati chili is actually a dish invented by Greek immigrants in Cincinnati and meant as a spaghetti sauce or hot dog topping. It has some chili powder in it, but also more traditional Mediterranean spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. Learn more on Google.