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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Friday, September 10, 2004

    Forget tires and steel. Make chili! 

    Ohio seeks alternatives to manufacturing, and it is right there in the chili bowl. The problem is, of course, that as good and unique as Cincinnati chili is, it does not generate the revenues of building a tire or putting together an auto.

    As Mike Boyer, of the Cincinnati Enquirer, explains: ``No one know just how much Cincinnati-style chili is consumed annually, but despite its success in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, it remains largely a local affection.''

    This is unfortunate. When a few years ago a Cincinnati chili emporium opened in the Belden Village area of Stark County, the swing county of the swing state, it went buns up.

    Tom Allen, vice president of Skyline Chili, the largest chili chain, with nearly 130 restauntants in 12 markets from Michigan to Florida (told Boyer), ``Chili is very regional. We all grow up with a different idea of what chili is.''

    Ohio is always looking for exports and Cincinnati chili could be just that. Let a few billion Chinese get a taste for the what Ethan Becker, Joy of Cooking entrepreneur, calls ``almost perfect fast food'' and perhaps Ohio's economy would not be in the doldrums.

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 7:49 PM

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