MSN.com offers up an article today on U.S. cities that are considered the “capital” of a particular food. Some are familiar and expected, while others come out of left field.
It should come as no surprise that Cincinnati is the chili capital of the world. Even though chili is often though of as a Texan or southwestern dish, it was actually invented by a man from Cincinnati named DeWitt Clinton Pendery in 1890. Granted, he moved to Ft. Worth shortly afterwards and brought his recipe with him, but Cincinnati’s claim to chili fame was thus born.
Cincinnati chili is wildly divergent from Pendery’s original recipe and from the more standard meat-and-beans based dish known around these parts. People (yours truly included) may argue that the three-way, four-way or five-way sludge served by Skyline Chili and Goldstar Chili and their many competitors isn’t “chili” so much as strangely-sweet meat stew with spaghetti, but you can’t deny the fact that Cincinnati is all about chili. After all, Cincinnati has more chili restaurants per capita than any other city in not just the nation, but the world.
More surprising entries in the food capitals article? San Francisco is apparently the burrito capital of the nation — although one could argue that it’s more accurately the capital of Godzilla-sized burritos the size of a toddler, and not the burritos that Tex-Mex fans know and love — and that Hammonton, New Jersey, holds the widely-contested title of blueberry capital of the world.
Locally, several Texas cities have made boastful claims including the tiny town of Friona, Texas proclaiming itself the cheeseburger capital of the nation. However, as the article points out, perhaps the boldest claim of all comes from Lockhart, the supposed barbeque capital of the world. I’m not knocking Lockhart, by any means, but I hear that Luling would like a word with them outside…
What do you think? Is your town a capital of a random food item? Do you think barbeque is too great a conquest to be claimed by one master? Share your opinions below!