Tag Archives: Cincinnati Chili

America’s Worst Regional Culinary Dishes (Part 1)

“I don’t care if it’s just how your mama used to make it, your mama used to make it WRONG.”

~AFFotD Taste Testers

ummm what

When it comes to the culinary arts, America, and by extension the staff of America Fun Fact of the Day, is a lot like a caterpillar, in that caterpillars don’t know how analogies work.  Wait, no, we can salvage this.  American cuisine spent years languishing as underdeveloped and, frankly, sad attempts at inventing dishes that lagged far behind Europe’s more significant and time-tested methods.  Only 85 years ago, Julia Child wrote a book that basically told the country, “Um, so France uses a lot of butter in their food, maybe if we tried that it would taste pretty good too” and people lost their shit so much that they still buy that book to this very day.  But eventually our tastes matured, and we burst out of our cocoons to make hundreds of dishes that are insanely unhealthy, undoubtedly American, and still delicious enough that other countries try (and often fail) to replicate on their own.

Part of the beauty of American cooking is how diverse it can be, considering how every single area of this great sprawling nation has its own approach to filling us up.  Hell, asking for a simple clam chowder can get you eight different soups, depending on where you are when you ask for it.  Just looking at all the things we can do with the humble hot dog gives you an idea of how inventive and varied we can be when trying to find the most effective ways to give you a quick coronary.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t always translate to successful dishes, and even more unfortunately, some of these failures randomly get embraced as “part of the culture” of various regions in America.  This isn’t surprising—with so much good food, America was bound to have some swings and misses.  But when we miss, ho boy, do we miss.

But you can’t appreciate the good without being made aware of the bad, so as much as it pains us, we’re here to present to you an unflinching look at…

America’s Worst Regional Culinary Dishes (Part 1)

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American Sausage Series Part 4: Regional Midwest Sausages

Regional Hot Dog Styles Of America: Part 4

“Goddamn it, I knew Chicago would win.  Those bastards.”

~The, like, four New Yorkers who actually were upset that the New York-style hot dog was so low on this list

ChicagoHotDog

When we began our trek through America’s regional hot dogs, we were legitimately worried.  We had just finished writing about 11,000 words talking about long bread sandwiches, and it literally tore families apart and drove half of our staff to insanity.  And we were going to immediately follow that nightmare up with a systematic breakdown of hot dog styles?  Did we have a death wish outside of our normal “eating and drinking so much that interventions pretty much have become a part of our weekly schedule” death wish?

As it turns out, the task wasn’t quite so daunting.  Most hot dog styles follow a pretty basic blueprint.  Talking about the different regional kinds of, say, chili dogs requires about as much research as talking about various pizza toppings.  New Jersey wanted to put chili on their hot dog.  Georgia puts their chili dog in a bowl.  Pennsylvania likes to name things from Pennsylvania after Texas.  It’s not exactly academic research, but it is hot dogs, so it’s still worth our attention our affection.  And these four hot dogs remaining are the ones we love the most.  So let’s dig in.

Regional Hot Dog Styles Of America: Part 4

hot doug's

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Regional Hot Dog Styles Of America: Part 1

“We will eat enough hot dogs that our blood type will become ‘Nitrates’ and then we will eat some more.”

~AFFotD Official Credo

chicago flag

Recently, we at AFFotD painstakingly researched over 25 different long rolled sandwiches in America over the course of 11,000 words and four articles.  We learned a lot during that delicious (though at times, excruciating) journey—mainly that it takes most wives and husbands about four hours of listening to a writer drunkenly talk about sub sandwiches before they take the kids and go spend a week at their parents’ place.  While it’s all well and good to spend your time writing about submarine sandwiches and Italian beefs, when you try to list every type of sandwich in existence you end up scrapping the bottom of the internet to find anything at all that explains why “sarney” is in the dictionary as a type of sandwich, or why whiskey doesn’t always chase the demons away.  After we ran ourselves ragged trying to write about every sandwich, we were pleased with our results, but swore an oath that we would never again take on such a daunting, impossible task.  Unfortunately, we then celebrated the publication of the series by getting really drunk again and thinking of another article suggestion, and since we were hungry, we decided to talk about every kind of regional hot dog in America.

God…goddamn it.  We just will never learn.

Anyway, it’s time to delve into the magical tube of nitrates that is the hot dog in all of its wondrous (and occasionally not-so-wondrous) incarnations.   Hold onto your hats, America, here’s another multi-part, nation-sprawling series on unhealthy foods.

Regional Hot Dog Styles Of America: Part 1 of 4

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