Chili: A Regional Glossary

A glossary of chili varieties and origins...

Chili cheese fries: Origin: Detroit. Shoestring-style fries covered with chili sauce, topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

Chili con carne. Origin: Texas. Generally contains chili pepper and beef. Arguments ensue over variations with tomatoes and beans. May include garlic, onions and cumin.

Chili mac: Origin: unresolved. Chili served over macaroni or other pasta.

Chili poutine: Origin: Southern California. A thick, brown-gravy-based meat chili over fries, topped with American cheese.

Chili rice: Origin: Hawaii, U.K., Australia. Chili with beans served over rice. 

“Chili size”: Origin: California. A burger topped with chili (usually without beans).

Chile verde. Origin: New Mexico. Generally contains slow-cooked green chiles and pork. May include chicken broth, garlic, tomatillos, and poblano, jalapeño, Serrano and habanero peppers.

Cincinnati chili: Origin: Cincinnati. A sweeter take, generally containing ground beef, stock, tomato paste, cinnamon, Mediterranean spices and sometimes chocolate. Tends to have a thinner, soup-like consistency. 

Coney Island hot dogs: Origin: Detroit or Fort Wayne, Indiana via Macedonia. A hot dog served with Coney sauce—a savory ground-beef chili, tied to Macedonian immigrants.

Five-ways: Origin: Cincinnati. Chili served over spaghetti, with beans, raw onions and cheese.

Frito pie: Origin: Southwestern U.S. A variety served over corn chips. May be topped with grated cheese, onions, jalapeños and sour cream. 

Kansas City chili: Origin: Kansas City, Missouri. A loose meat sauce with ground chiles. 

White chili. Origin: unresolved. Generally contains white beans and turkey or chicken. a&s

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