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An outside (Pittsburgh) food critic tries Barberton Chicken. Will it survive the healthy, organic food trend? Will it exist in 20 years? His opinion.



Category is a local news and entertainment provider with content by local writers, experts, and Community Leaders. Opinions are the writers.

Danny Palumbo liked the chicken statue at Hopocans.

Shared from The Link to the story below. Very good story on our Barberton chicken tradition.

By. Danny Palumbo: Danny is a comedian and writer living in Los Angeles. He grew up in New Castle, Pa. He visited Belgrade and Hopocan while home for Christmas.

Danny’s compliments Barberton chicken and recommends people to travel to Barberton to try it. He thinks it may be the best-fried chicken he has ever had. He likes Hopocan Gardens chicken over Belgrade’s. Belgrade is the winner of the best fried chicken in Ohio. He is not impressed with the hot sauce rice, likes the coleslaw, but feels that the fries taste like it is fried with the chicken.

He urges Midwest people to try Barberton Chicken BUT REALIZES it is a tough sell in today’s healthy food trend. He feels it may be gone soon as lard, even though it is a natural fat from animals, is out. The trend is grilled chicken or plant-based protein. He hopes it can survive but is not sure it will be around in 20 years.

Quote from Danny Palombo:

“In an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal, Koltnow explains, “It’s a hard business model to maintain. The core clientele is older. They don’t draw enough young people. Part of my goal in writing [Barberton Fried Chicken] was to get people to look at the chicken houses again and see if we can revitalize the traditions.”

In 20 years, will there be any Serbian-owned fried chicken houses in Ohio? It’s hard to know. It doesn’t have the mass appeal of, say, Nashville hot chicken. Young people aren’t lining up to consume lard and hot sauce that’s actually rice. Eastern European food isn’t necessarily sexy. Who will be willing to take up the mantle when the older generation bows out? Unless it somehow suddenly breaks into the mainstream in a big way, this chicken is likely to stay in eastern Ohio, making it one of the few truly regional foods left.

Barberton is a good road trip if you live in the Midwest, and I think it’s something you should try once. Not only because it’s delicious, but because it could be gone soon. Barberton chicken is likely fleeting—which is ironic because weeks later I can still taste the lard.”



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Mike Bodnar
Mike Bodnar
Admin of Ed: Barberton 1972. Ohio Northern University 1977 BS in Pharmacy. Retired Pharmacist. Grew up on the Northend and Crissman Park. I love Barberton and always will.

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