This morning you may have recognized some familiar places on the TODAY Show – and that’s because our beloved city played host for today’s episode! Co-hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales happily “ate their way” through Chicago by hitting all the Windy City classics:
–Vienna Beef Chicago Style Hot Dog: A Chicago staple, our dogs are served on a poppy seed bun with mustard, a dill pickle spear, chopped white onion, neon green relish, sport peppers, tomato slices and a sprinkling of celery salt. Whatever you do, DON’T add ketchup! Chicago-style aficionados are firm believers that ketchup has no business being on a hotdog and a number of city hotdog vendors refuse to offer it as a condiment.
–Deep dish pizza: As Natalie pointed out, this is definitely not a meal you can grab and eat on the go! Our Chicago-style deep dish pizza requires a fork and knife (and a big appetite). Unlike traditional pizza, Chicago-style is a few inches deep with chunky tomato sauce and tons of mozzarella. It’s made “upside down”, with the crust followed by a layer of cheese, followed by a layer of toppings such as pepperoni and/or sausage, then loaded with more cheese and finally topped with tomato sauce. This style was developed because the pies take so long to cook that the cheese and toppings would otherwise burn if they were placed on the top layer. Giordano’s is a local favorite and they ship their pizzas across the country so you can get your fix anywhere, anytime.
–Garrett Popcorn: A bucket of Garrett’s is quintessentially Chicago, and if you really want to feel like a local go for the caramel and cheddar blend. While it may sound like an odd combination, the mixture of buttery sweet caramel with tangy, salty cheddar is pure bliss. Garrett’s ships their popcorn too and you can even design customizable bins to house your snack.
We are thrilled the cast of TODAY came to experience our city. We’re big fans; last Earth Month we had a blast hosting one of Kathie Lee & Hoda’s lucky fans of the week. To view clips from TODAY’s Chicago-style episode, visit TODAY’s website.