Woman eating goetta balls at a street festival (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)
Woman enjoying a goetta ball (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)

Cincinnatians love food that's unique to the region – like Skyline Chili, Graeter's Ice Cream and Montgomery Inn RibsThere's a lesser-known dish, however, that many natives to the region also enjoy. This dish is known as goetta (get-uh), and millions of pounds of it are consumed each year.

So what is goetta?

Goetta nachos at a street festival (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)
Goetta nachos (photo: CincinnatiUSA.com)

It's primarily composed of ground meat and steel-cut oats and flavored with bay leaves, rosemary, salt, pepper and thyme. The dish originated with German settlers who immigrated to the Cincinnati area in the 19th century. Many locals enjoy eating goetta with their eggs and in omelets for breakfast. Some even enjoy goetta sliders and goetta pizza! You're also likely to find some special Cincinnati goetta dishes on local restaurant menus.

Glier's Goetta, located in Covington, Ky., is the largest commercial producer of goetta. The company produces more than 1,000,000 pounds of goetta annually and around 99% of it is consumed in Greater Cincinnati! Eckerlin Meats at Findlay Market and Queen City Sausage also produce this Cincinnati favorite. Visitors can order theirs online, have it shipped back home or pick some up at local grocery stores while in town like at Jungle Jim's, Kroger, Remke Markets, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart and Meijer.

Glier's Goettafest

Glier's Goettafest (photo: @hidekikealoha)
Glier's Goettafest (photo: @hidekikealoha)

Goetta is such a local delicacy that we celebrate it with a festival every year! Enjoy live music, a variety of inventive goetta dishes (goetta empanadas, goetta balls, goetta rangoon, goetta nachos and more!) and even goetta-themed games during two weekends of goetta-filled fun on the Newport, Ky., riverfront. This free event happens July 30-August 2 and August 6-9, 2020.