Chili + cinnamon rolls? Crazier things have happened!

I've heard of people dipping their fries in their Wendy's Frosty or heck, even putting a slice of American cheese on top of apple pie but have you ever heard of people pair chili with cinnamon rolls? Trust me, it's real.

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How do I know? Because I've tried it!


Midwestern Staple

There was a time when my career took me away from Michigan and out to central Nebraska. I'd never in my wildest dreams pictured myself living in the Heartland for 3 years. It certainly was an experience! I met a lot of great people and saw some amazing sunsets but let me just say: they do things a little differently out there.

Like chili and cinnamon rolls, for example.

Now, I don't know why or how this odd pairing first came into existence but I do know it's a staple of the Midwestern palate. Ask anyone from not just Nebraska but states like Kansas, Iowa, and even Oklahoma and they'll ensure you they've  been eating this combo since they were kids.

In fact, chili and cinnamon rolls is such a traditional dish that it's been on the menu of school lunches for as long as anyone can remember; it's even served in state prison and there's a Nebraska-based chain of restaurants that offer it as a special numbered combo on their drive-thru menu.

Yes, really!

Google Maps
Google Maps

Runza Restaurants offer their chili and cinnamon rolls combo meal annually as part of their seasonal fall menu. Writes Runza,

If you tell someone who’s not from the Midwest that you like chili and cinnamon rolls together, they’ll look at you like you have three heads. But if you let them try Runza’s® homemade Chili with a sweet sugary Cinnamon Roll, they’ll still look at you like you have three heads but they’ll also be like, “Hey guy, you were right, this is fantastic.”

Oh and in case you were wondering what a "runza" is it's essentially a pasty. Quit trying to steal our "thing", Nebraska!

I've given the whole chili and cinnamon rolls thing a few honest tries and honestly, it's not for me. Have YOU ever heard of this staple of the Midwest?

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