Monday, February 13, 2017

Taking a Bite Out of Chicago

by Hannah Wilson, intern

Eating your way through any city can be an intimidating challenge, especially in one of the biggest cities in the United States. However, being a Chicago native, I’ve spent almost 22 years eating my way through this city. Although I don’t think I could ever eat everything the city has to offer, I can assure you that these culinary inventions of Chicago are worth tracking down.

Chicago Style Hot Dog

A true Chicago classic, an all-beef wiener on a poppy seed bun. You can find these bad boys topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear tomato wedges and a sprinkle of celery salt but never, ever ketchup.

Gene & Jude’s, in the Chicagoland area, is said to have the number one hot dog in America since 1945. They don’t even supply Ketchup in their store.

The Twinkie

In 1930, James Dewar invented this spongy, indestructible treat. In 1980, about a billion Twinkies were sold each year.

Italian Beef

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Photo credit:

Thin slices of seasoned roast beef on a thick, Italian-style roll are the base of an Italian Beef. Chicago natives often order it juicy, which means it’s dipped into the juices that the beef is cooked in, and smother it in sweet and/or hot peppers. This is a Chicago dish that dates back to the 1930’s.

Chicago Mix Popcorn

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Photo credit:

An unlikely pair of cheese and caramel flavored popcorn is literal heaven in your mouth. I don’t know where it came from, or who thought of it, but bless your soul. This Chicago staple can be found all throughout the city, almost on every block like Starbucks. You definitely shouldn’t leave without trying it!

Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Photo credit: unbirthdayparty
Photo credit: unbirthdayparty

I can best describe this as a pie; it is baked in a deep, steel pan with large amounts of cheese and chunky tomato sauce. Toppings that would usually go on top of a pizza before being baked are actually baked within the pizza, in-between the cheese and sauce. A native knows that tackling this tasty tradition requires a fork and knife.
There can never be a unanimous “best deep dish” restaurant because everyone has their own opinions, there are different style of deep dish and each one holds special place in my heart. 

The possibilities are endless when deciding what to eat in Chicago, but leaving without trying what the city is known for, would just be a shame.

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