Monday, January 2, 2012

Things We Miss: Part 1

Ryan and I have been having a really good time getting to know the fun things there are to explore here in New York City that are new to us, culturally and culinarily. We've eaten at fun restaurants from world cuisine that we didn't even know existed. There are, however, a few things we miss about Cincinnati that we will be stocking up on on our trip there soon. Some things we'll stock pile to mail home, and others are perishable, so we'll have to eat as much of them as we possibly can while we're there. Some of the things have decent equivilants here, but they just don't taste as homey and the same. I've been compiling a list of what we'll be stuffing our faces with, and what will be giving the Postal Service our business with.
Snow Cream
Image via Calorilicious

Snow cream is hard to describe. It's primitive ice cream, for the most part. It's made of cream, sugar and vanilla (some brands do not include vanilla.) You would think it would be like plain ice milk, but it's whipped into a frothy concoction that is foamy and light. Think frozen Cool-whip, but without all the gross chemicals. (and we all know how much I loves me some Cool-whip) I love the taste and texture, and love it's low fat & calorie content even more. Of course, being a frozen item. We'll have to eat it while there at someone's house. My childhood BFF, Lucy, has stepped up to the plate to gather some up for us. It's mostly only sold at Christmas, so timing of it's acquisition is crucial!

Image via Cincy Favorites

Image via Roadfood

WTF is Goetta, you ask? I think Jane & Michael Stern, of Roadfood fame, describe it best as "Cincinnati's Offal Hash." But to get more specific, I'll let Wikipedia lay it out:

Goetta is a breakfast sausage of likely German-American origin that is popular in the greater Cincinnati area. It is primarily composed of ground meat (pork, or pork and beef) and steel-cut oats. Pronounced gétt-aaged-da or get-uh Americanized pronunciation, this dish probably originated with German settlers from the northwestern regions of OldenburgHannover, and Westphalia who emigrated to the Cincinnati area in the 19th century. The word "Goetta" comes from the Low German word götte. However, some believe that goetta originated as a haggis substitute, brought to Ohio via Scots-Irish migrants by way of Kentucky.[1]
Goetta was originally a peasant dish, meant to stretch out servings of meat over several meals to conserve money.
The modern popularity of goetta in Cincinnati has led to it being called "Cincinnati Caviar". Glier's Goetta, the largest commercial producer of goetta, produces more than 1,000,000 lb (450 metric tons) annually, around 99% of which is consumed locally in greater Cincinnati.

To say that Goetta has a flavor that's an acquired taste is an under statement. You just have to be from CIncinnati to understand it. Our favorite place to eat it out is Proud Rooster on Ludlow St. in Clifton.
Image via
Our favorite brand is Wassler's, which you can buy at Kramer's in Villa Hills, KY on Buttermilk Pike.

My Mother-in-Law is quite the Goetta fan & critic, so I can count on her to make for us for breakfast the couple of days we'll be staying with her.

Cincinnati Style Chili

Image via Free Republic
 What's that? you say. It's bolognese sauce on spaghetti with orange cheese. Well, yeah, basically that's what it is. Cincinnati style chili is a thin, soupy chili of ground beef and spices. The most popular way to eat is on spaghetti with finely shredded orange cheddar. It's called a 3-way. He he. Step it up a notch or 2 to make a 4 way with onions or kidney beans or a 5-way with both. Skyline is the biggest franchise for the chili, but there are a few others worth checking out, a great one being Camp Washington Chili, which is open 24/7, and if you really wanna do it all Cincinnati-like, also serves goetta! I personally like my chili in chili-cheese sandwich style, which is like a coney dog minus the hot dog part. They make dry mix packets of Cincinnati style chili seasoning, which I'll be buying at Kroger (another Cincinnati original) and bringing home to make with 99% fat-free ground turkey! I've asked a few people to mail them to me, but they keep forgetting. 

Husman's Chips (Sour Cream & Cheddar, specifically)
Image via Husman's

There is absolutely nothing special about these. I haven't even bothered to see if there is a good supplement to them here. I just like them. When my friend Karlen drove up to visit in September, she cleaned out her local grocery store and brought me 6 bags. They were gone in 2 weeks. I think they're extra salty, thick and each chip is really big and substantial. Ugh. I'm gonna gain so much weight on this visit home.

Ale 8-1
Ale 8-1 is a ginger ale from Winchester, KY that Ryan introduced me to when we first started dating. It has caffeine in it, so I actually know people who drink it instead of coffee for breakfast. I personally love it with Bourbon & lime juice. Yeah. I'm getting thirsty...

Opera Creams
Image via Facebook

I'm having a hard time finding information about these on the internets, but they are a cream cheese-y tasting confection sold at Easter in gas stations and corner stores. The original flavor is almost like a mild cheesecake shaped like a little egg and covered in chocolate. They also make flavored varieties and my favorites are pineapple and maple nut. I'm hoping the first week of February will be close enough to Easter that we'll be able to find some. 

And there you have it. Some of these foods don't seem so weird, but we never knew they were native to the 'Nati until we moved away and couldn't find them! I can't wait to go shopping for them! If we ever go to Cincinnati in a car, then I'm really gonna clean Kroger out. I'll stock up on Kim's Magic Pop, 35 calorie bread from Aunt Millie's and Kroger brand diet grapefruit soda. When it all comes down to it, I really miss eating in the town I grew up in!

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