An Ode to the Hot Dog

Hot dogs are unfairly maligned, especially for something that is delicious, an American tradition, and are good for the environment. 

Regarding their gustatory qualities I suspect the naysayers are probably thinking of the massive pack of Sugardale hot dogs their creepy uncle bought for the last barbecue for something like $1/lb. Saying all hot dogs are bad because of that experience is like saying all cheeseburgers are bad because they are bad at McDonald's. Getting good hot dogs (beef and/or pork) from a good purveyor is a completely different ball game so go ahead and treat yourself, they are still relatively inexpensive even for the "pricey" ones.

By the way, we have a long ways to go on this front. 7-Eleven sells about 100 million hot dogs annually; that's about one for every human being in the US at least once a week. You know who you are...

Second, the hot dog is American institution with enough regional twists to keep things interesting. Heck, the hot dog was served at a baseball game as early as 1893 at St. Louis Browns games. This is the franchise that would become the St. Louis Cardinals which has the second most World Series wins in all of Major League Baseball. Now I'm not saying the hot dog is responsible for that, but it does make you wonder. Other teams have their signature hot dog or condiment such as the Fenway Frank (boiled, grilled, ketchup, relish, on a New England-style bun, the Dodger Dog (grilled or steamed 10" frank, toppings up to you, on a simple hot dog bun), the Chicago-style dog (all-beef frank, yellow mustard, onion, a pickle spear, sport peppers, startlingly bright green sweet relish, celery salt, tomato slices, all on a poppy seed bun), and the list goes on to include dogs topped with Cincinatti chili or a hot dog topped with stadium mustard at a game in Cleveland (Go Tribe!). The history goes on and on, but suffice it to say, eating a hot dog is a truly American act.

"Fenway from Legend's Box" by User Jared Vincent on Flickr - Originally posted to Flickr as "Fenway-from Legend's Box". Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fenway_from_Legend%27s_Box.jpg#/media/File:Fenway_from_Legend%27s_Box.jpg

"Fenway from Legend's Box" by User Jared Vincent on Flickr - Originally posted to Flickr as "Fenway-from Legend's Box". Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fenway_from_Legend%27s_Box.jpg#/media/File:Fenway_from_Legend%27s_Box.jpg

Finally, hot dogs are environmentally friendly. This is due to the fact that they are able to get all of this flavor and tradition from scraps after cutting steaks and grinding meat for loose sausage or ground beef. Before you say something like "That's gross" please be prepared to stop eating all sausage or ordering pepperoni on your pizza. It's the same process and it creates something oh so good out of something we wouldn't be eating without the process, and as a result gets more out of a carbon-intensive form of agriculture.

All that said, just go eat some good hot dogs.

"Stadium Mustard" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stadium_Mustard.jpg#/media/File:Stadium_Mustard.jpg

"Stadium Mustard" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Stadium_Mustard.jpg#/media/File:Stadium_Mustard.jpg

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