I first heard about Cincinnati chili on an episode of A Prairie Home Companion, where I was convinced it had to be a joke. Cinnamon-flavored chili served over spaghetti? Pretty weird–but then I fell in love with my black bean espresso chili and also noticed a recipe for the Cincinnati stuff on foodgawker.com, so I decided I had to try it.
The recipe needs some tweaking, but it was pretty yummy. I didn’t have cayenne pepper, which meant that it came out a little bland, though the cumin, chili powder, cocoa, and cinnamon gave it a nice flavor. I made a little too much spaghetti, so the chili kind of got lost in all the noodles. And when I halved the recipe I forgot to halve the amount of beans (I threw them in at the end of the simmering process rather than just adding them to the plate), so it was a little bean-heavy for my taste. So if you try this out, go for a bit of cayenne, and go easy on the beans and the noodles. It’s traditionally topped with grated cheddar cheese and raw onions, though I’m not a raw onion fan so I left those out. It’s odd, but it’s yummy!