The Daily Blog

In Honor of National Chili Month: Skyline Chili

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We enjoyed a delicious 4-way this week. No, not that…get your minds out of the gutter, folks! Ours was a meal of Skyline Chili, compliments of my father-in-law who mailed us cans of the delicious chili concoction (thanks Jay!). A 4-way is what Skyline calls a dish of spaghetti, Cincinnati-style chili, cheese, and onion.

Cans of Skyline are few and far-between (they are mostly sold only in the Midwest) and so we ration ours out every year. We had four cans for this year, and we are now down to two (already!); you can bet that we’ll be saving those last two cans for a perfectly cold winter day. Skyline is best eaten when it’s cold outside; cold enough to make you long for something warm, hearty, and satisfying. A scoop of chili over spaghetti (we do ours with whole-wheat, but the classic style is white pasta), topped with finely grated cheese, and minced onions: oh lordy, lordy…this is a dish that I would consider moving to Ohio for. (Well, Skyline and the cute, old – and cheap – houses that we see lucky couples purchasing on HGTV.)

Skyline Chili is a family tradition for Jason, who grew up partly in Ohio (and partly in Texas). His dad would take him there during the winter, usually after a Cincinatti Bearcats basketball game. They would sit at the counter and enjoy a couple of coneys heaped with the most gorgeous pile of shredded cheese that you ever saw as an appetizer  before the main course of a 4-way with a Mountain Dew. Jason has fond memories of these times with his dad and, when we went back to Ohio to visit his grandparents for the first time he took me to his dad’s favorite Skyline location. Ever since, I’ve been a believer. We don’t miss an opportunity to visit Skyline when in Ohio, and we obviously savor every can of the good stuff that we can lay our hands on.

Skyline isn’t the healthiest stuff in the world, but it is so good that we just don’t care! It seems that regional food is often like this… (Chicago pizza, anyone?!)

I’m curious about the regional specialties that you like. What food do you have to stock up on (in your belly or your pantry) when you visit other parts of the country??