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Know Ohio: Ohio Foods

In this edition of Know Ohio, we learn how our state’s unique culinary heritage reflects its rich history and immigrant influences.

Iconic dishes like Cincinnati chili, originating in the 1920s, blend Mediterranean flavors with American tastes. In the 1920s, two brothers moved here from Macedonia in southeast Europe. Tom and John Kiradjieff opened their Empress Chili parlor next to a theater.

Sauerkraut balls, likely invented by German immigrants in the 1920s and 1930s, offer a taste of Akron's culture. These round appetizers are a mix of ground meat and sour cabbage that is breaded and deep-fried.

A Polish immigrant is behind a big Cleveland condiment craze. Joseph Bertman moved to Cleveland in 1902. When he was just 19, he began a pickle company that soon grew to sell other products like barbecue sauce, sliced pineapple, and in 1921, the iconic Ballpark Mustard.