I happened across an article no too long ago. The gist of the piece centered on the “one food” that we absolutely MUST try in each state.
First, I must say, that these “types” of articles are a dime a dozen. Those “top” lists. We see them everywhere on the widest range of topics. Unfortunately, the ones that involve all 50 states completely suck me in. I am standing there, completely minding my own business, right at the edge of the dense jungle, and suddenly a little vine wiggles out from below, and wraps itself tightly around my ankle. Before I know it, the vine has choked my leg with a hard yank, dropped me flat on my back, and pulled me into the dark, twisted, tangle of trees, never to be seen again. Those lists of 50-state-things.
Yet, every time I read one, I pull out my measuring stick. I check Ohio first, to see if the list is worthy of investigation. In this case, the “one food” we have to try in Ohio. And the verdict? Cincinnati Chili.
Well, for me, that is a complete and utter No-Go. I can’t stand Cincinnati Chili. It should not even be a chili really A bit of a travesty. A hopeless imposter. Cinnamon? Nutmeg? It may as well be soupy-poopy Pumpkin Pie with shredded cheese on top.
Now. Chili is what they make in Spain, and down in Mexico, and the Southwest United States. It is spicy, and hot, and dances a thousand flavors when you spoon it to your mouth. The flavors of peppers and onions and tomatoes singing louder than the rest.
If you really want to know the very good origins of Chili, it comes from Sister Mary of Agreda. I kid you not. Sister Mary was a Spanish nun in the early 1600s. This woman, never, ever, ever left her convent. My kind of gal.
But on certain days, while sitting there, praying good prayers, I’m sure, she would experience a bit of a “thing.” Yes. She had these out-of-body incidents in which her spirit was transported across the Atlantic to preach Christianity to the Indians. I’m sure the Indians were grateful. They probably gave all sorts of things to Sister Mary’s out-of-body-self. So, after one of the return trips, her spirit wrote down the first recipe for chili con carne: chili peppers, venison, onions, and tomatoes.
And there it is. What God has written, let no man disturb. Or, something like that. Which also translates, don’t screw up the Holy Chili with cinnamon, you heathens.
So back to the list. If Cincy Chili is the one thing you must try in Ohio, the list is for crap. I mean, why not try our canned spinach? Oh. And then, South Carolina was named for its Hoppin’ John. There’s a Nope. I mean, I like Hoppin’ John and all. But I’ve spent considerable time in South Carolina. There’s WAY better stuff in that state. And Wisconsin? Cheese Curds. Here’s news for you. If I go all the way to Wisconsin, I am going to eat something a heck of a lot finer than cheese curds.
So just remember as you belly-up to the lunch counter.
It’s a jungle out there. Be careful. And. Trust the Flying Nuns.
Because, we are what we eat.
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
― Charles M. Schulz
“Wait. Why am I thinking about Krispy Kremes? We’re supposed to be exercising.”
― Meg Cabot, Big Boned
“You will need a Photo I.D. to buy those Rice Krispies.”
— Pres. Donald Trump