With the leaves changing colors and the first frost since spring this past weekend, it's clear that fall is now well under way. A spirit of competition with the start of football season and the urge to bundle up in a hoodie with a nice warm bowl of comfort food is stronger than ever. Here in Cincinnati, there is no better comfort food for chilly fall days than chili- either as a way, coney, or by itself. The Cincinnati chili tradition began in the early twentieth century by Greek and Macedonian immigrants who served chili at their hot dog stand next to a burlesque theather called the Empress. Quite different from the "chili con carne" known in other parts of the Unite States, those immigrant restauranteurs began modifying their dish, made with ground beef, spices, and other tasty ingredients in their secret recipe to be served over spaghetti or hot dogs. Later, they added the option to include cheese, mustard, or onion toppings. The chili-spaghetti dishes became known as 2, 3, 4, or 5 ways- depending on toppings chosen and based on the ordering system developed to make service more efficient. The hot dog and chili dish became known as a coney, simultaenous with the development of the "coney island hot dog" in other parts of the country. Since the first Empress hot dog stand, other chains and independent restaurants have developed, totalling to over 250 "chili parlours" in the Greater Cincinnati Area today. As chili remains to be the most well known regional dish, it is still enjoyed by most Cincinnati natives.
This nearly century-old love for local comfort food and a human zest for competition and celebration comes together during fall weather as the perfect season for a chili cook-off. Last Saturday, Brock Restoration hosted the Tri State Firefighters Chili Cook-off, where many of the area's fire departments went head to head to create the best chili as chosen by the public to benefit the Greater Cincinnati Firefighter Memorial. Awards were given for Best Chili, Best Booth, and Most Money Raised.
Here at Buy Awards and Trophies, we offer a variety of trophy and medal selections just for such an event. You can choose from two different award images and over 60 different styles. Not from Cincinnati, but still want to enjoy the spirit of fall with competition and comfort food? Not a problem, we ship anywhere in country and can personalize any award.