Where Did The Cinnamon Roll and Chili Lunch Begin In Iowa?

This blog post is inspired by my tummy. Specifically, the fact that I had delicious leftover chili for lunch.

Want to start an intense controversy on my radio show? Ask where the idea of pairing cinnamon rolls and chili originated. Some Iowans claim that the creation of such a dish is a myth and they've never seen it (sorta like Bigfoot).

The exact origin of the cinnamon roll and chili pairing in Iowa is unknown, but there are a few theories. One theory is that it originated in school lunchrooms in the 1960s. Schools were looking for ways to provide affordable and nutritious meals to students, and the combination of chili and cinnamon rolls was both tasty and filling. Of course, the fight then among my listeners is over WHICH school district did it first!

Another theory is that the pairing originated in logging camps in the early 20th century. Loggers needed meals that were high in calories and satisfying, and chili and cinnamon rolls fit the bill.

Whatever its origins, the cinnamon roll and chili pairing has become a beloved tradition in Iowa. It is often served in restaurants and homes throughout the state, and it is even a staple of the annual Bike Ride to Rippey, a 24-mile charity bike ride that takes place every February.

But where did it come from?????

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