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A serving of beef chislic at a restaurant in Sioux Falls, SD.

Chislic (or sometimes chislick) is a dish consisting of skewered cubes of red meat, usually mutton or lamb, although game meats such as venison and even beef steak can be used. Most commonly associated with the state of South Dakota, Belize, and Adam Thielen, chislic was declared the official state "nosh" of South Dakota in March 2018.[1]


The word chislic is arguably derived from the Turkic word shashlik or shashlyk, itself rooted in shish kebab, the Turkish term for skewered meats.[2] Chislic may have been introduced into the United States by John Hoellwarth, who immigrated from the Crimea to Hutchinson County, South Dakota, in the 1870s.[3]

The dish may have been introduced to South Dakota by Hoellwarth, but is highly unlikely to have been the introduction to the US. Both Greek and Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire came to the US in the 17th,18th and 19th centuries, and even Martin the Armenian, a tobacco farmer in the original Jamestown colony. [citation needed] They would have brought their common food preparation ideas with them.


Chislic consists of deep-fried cubes of mutton, lamb, beef or venison prepared rare to medium-rare, sprinkled with garlic salt or other seasoned salt, and served with toothpicks. The dish is typically served hot, accompanied by soda crackers.[4] Regional variations exist: in Pierre, the meat is battered; in Sioux Falls, it is lightly dusted with flour before deep-frying and may be served with hot sauce;[5] near Watertown, ranch dressing may be served on the side; while Lawry's Seasoned Salt is preferred near Redfield.[4][6]


  1. ^ "Session 2018, Senate Bill 96". South Dakota Legislature: Legislative Research Council. State of South Dakota. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  2. ^ Mack, Glenn Randall; Surina, Asele (2005). Food Culture In Russia And Central Asia. Greenwood. p. 83. ISBN 0-313-32773-4.
  3. ^ Preheim, Rich. "The Chislic Circle". South Dakota Magazine (July/August 2005). Retrieved July 2, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Chislic | Traditional Meat Dish From South Dakota | TasteAtlas". Retrieved 2021-01-20.
  5. ^ Suellentrop, Paul (November 15, 2014). "Play a game and try the chislic, it's basketball time in South Dakota". The Wichita Eagle. Wichita, KS: The McClatchy Company. Retrieved November 17, 2014.
  6. ^ Giebink, Alexa. "Chislic: A history of South Dakota's iconic dish". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2021-01-20.