Why Are Chili and Cinnamon Rolls Paired Together?
I’ve traveled all over the country and eaten all sorts of things, but one thing I didn’t expect to come across was chili served with cinnamon rolls. In some states, like Iowa and Nebraska, it’s really common, though. But why are cinnamon rolls and chili served together in some places? Nobody’s really sure, but the answer might be in school cafeterias. One theory is that schools struggling to feed a bunch of kids on tight budgets after World War II would serve chili a lot because it’s a filling meal that can be pretty cheap to make. Chili with lots of beans has a lot of nutrition, but it might not be all that appealing when it’s served up in a school cafeteria. But cinnamon rolls are always delicious, so the lunch ladies back then would make cinnamon rolls and serve them with the chili to get kids to eat it.
Whether or not that story is true, you can still find chili and cinnamon rolls paired together on the menu at restaurants in certain states.