How to Eat a Hot Dog


NYC’s Crif Dogs. Photo: Serious Eats.

Inspired by the arrival of Spring Training, the Orlando Sentinel offers a small article regarding hot dogs. It’s a summer salad of hot dog-related tips and trivia featuring a small but worthwhile portion of informational grist.

First worth grinding is the title of the piece: “Hot dogs fit baseball like the perfect glove.” I know that initially sounds like it might make sense, but take a moment to think through the simile. Just roll it around in your mind’s eye. Ok, now go have a nightmare.

To the wiener wisdom:

“Don’t put hot-dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always ‘dress the dog,’ not the bun.”

I have to admit, I sometimes dress the bun. But it makes sense why you shouldn’t do that. (Hint: absorbency delta.)

“Condiments should be applied in the following order: wet condiments (mustard and the like), followed by chunky condiments (relish, onions and sauerkraut), shredded cheese and spices.”

That also sounds like pretty good advice. Mind you, when I’m given options for my hot dog that include numerous “wet” condiments, “chunky condiments,” shredded cheese and “spices,” I normally just have the room service guy at the Mandarin Oriental dress the hot dog for me before he leaves.

“Dogs wrapped in buns are easy to manage with one hand, making the horizontal sandwiches practically custom-made for all kinds of sporting events.”

Are you explaining hot dogs to a Medieval time traveler or something? Actually that’s very unlikely, because they didn’t have time machines back then, or really any machines at all, unless you count trebuchets and iron maidens and stuff. A time traveler from the future is more plausible, but they’d probably know all about hot dogs. Unless — we forget about hot dogs, in the future???

“Don’t slather ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.”

Ok lady, you’re cut off. No ketchup after 18! WHAT will the Orlando Sentinel say next.




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17 Responses to “How to Eat a Hot Dog”

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  1. Matt Defalco says:

    No ketchup after 18!? Controversial to say the least! This does not sit well with my tastes.

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  2. Chris says:

    No ketchup after 18 is pure BS! She obviously begrudges the Heinz family for some reason (funding John Kerry maybe?). Ketchup is one of the most belittled condiments out there, but is one of the best. Having never been a fan of mustard, ketchup has been a burger and hot dog staple for me throughout my entire life.

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  3. Jeff Albertson says:

    “Nobody, but nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog anymore!” – Dirty Harry

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  4. gu03alum says:

    If you want ketchup at the hotdog place I go to in DC (DC-3) you tell them you want to “ruin it.”

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  5. Dayn Perry says:

    I’m a “live and and let live” absolutist, but just know that in Chicago you can start a street brawl by asking for ketchup on a hot dog.

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  6. My echo and bunnymen says:

    “I normally just have the room service guy at the Mandarin Oriental dress the hot dog for me before he leaves.”

    And you never leave a tip, jackass.

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  7. John says:

    I think ketchup and mustard atop a dog blend well together, and thus use both.. I’ll also put both over a chili dog, suppose I’m a more the merrier sort.. that guacamole dog looks fantastic, that is something I have never considered but will be sure to consume in the near future.

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  8. Joey says:

    what is a vegetarian baseball fan to do?

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  9. J.P. says:

    Food Metaphor? Where is FJM to give me a ruling on this?

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  10. twiffer says:

    not only is it stupid and rude to dictate what condiments people should be allowed to put on their food, but to add an age limit? idiotic.

    i like ketchup. lots of people like ketchup. i can only assume the anti-ketchup stance is “lots of people like this, so it must be bad”.

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