This Strange Food Combination Has Some South Dakotans Scratching Their Heads

Last week, I wrote about 10 strange habits every South Dakotan will defend to the death, and it started a debate. One of the list items was “South Dakotans eat their chili with a side of cinnamon roll.” While some readers said that this was definitely a common thing in our state, others had never heard of the quirky food combination. Some said, “Must be an East River thing.” Others said, “Must be a West River thing.” I figured it was time to get to the bottom of this issue.

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Where did the idea originate? After some fairly extensive research, I still can’t give you a definitive answer. I’d like to think that some creative South Dakotan cook got the brilliant idea to pair two of her favorite foods at once, and that she taught her children to do the same, and that eventually the idea spread to Nebraska and other Midwestern states.

Do you always pair your chili with a cinnamon roll hot from the oven? If so, how do you think this tradition started?