“Hoootttt…..Dooooooggggggsssssss….*drops a snowglobe*”
~Orson Wells’ last words
Americans truly are champions of unhealthy food, as we’ve documented time and time again. With each American cuisine comes another foolproof method for us to gain incredible weight without having to suffer through eating anything that is not amazingly delicious. Steaks, hamburgers, fried food and beer, all of these have been hoisted by the America Fun Fact of the Day staff as symbols of our greatness. We are a land of temptation, and as the antagonist-character-who-is-a-thinly-veiled-metaphor-for-the-Devil-in-a-Christian-“movie”-made-by-a-Megachurch would tell us, “Sin is in”.
But one American food stands head and shoulders above all else, something that is delicious, high in fat, calories, sodium, nitrates, and suicide bomber white blood cells. A food that, eaten alone, is already terribly unhealthy for you, but is expected to be combined with deep fried starches. A food that should be filling, but where eating two, or even three, over the course of a baseball game is no big deal. A food so American that every year we have competitions to see who can cram the most down our throat, and when a Japanese person dared to claim the world record, an American trained himself, Rocky style, to kick his ass by setting new world records each year.
We are of course talking about the reason why American health care is so expensive, the Hot Dog.
Just because it’s phallic does not make us gay to want to have sex with this right now.
Hot Dogs, like the Hamburger, got their start as a food in Germany, with German immigrants coming to America so we can steal the good things about the food and make it even fucking better. The Frankfurter Würstchen was a pork sausage first served in the 13th century, given to people on the coronation of Holy Roman Emperors, starting with Maximilian II, who of course was portrayed in film by Russell Crowe. There also were wieners, which apart from being a word that just made you giggle and then immediately make you feel a little self-conscious about that (don’t feel bad, it’s a hilarious word. Wiener. Wiener. Wiener. Teehee) was a pork and beef sausage from Vienna, where the German word for “Vienna” was “Wein”.
Hot Dogs took these sausages and improved the hell out of them by being all sorts of American. Hot Dogs are one of the only foods in the world that can be named after a pet, and yet not make a person uncomfortable asking to eat one. For example, if there was a candy product that took Catsup and made them to use little droplets of hard candies, and they were called “Cat Beads” no one would order them, because Jesus Christ, that sounds repulsive. But when you order a hot dog, you see…well, you see glory. And, also hot dogs.
Hot Dog’s are so delicious that if you dressed a baby up as one, you would start to feel uncomfortable about how delicious that baby suddenly started looking.
We have a guy whose only job is to look up babies in costumes to inform us which look the most appetizing
In the 1870, a German immigrant started selling sausages in buns on Coney Island. That was the start. By 1889, Harry M Stevens Inc. began servicing major sports venues with hot dogs. And in 1916, an employee of Charles Feltman (the man who started the ball rolling in 1870) named Nathan Handwerker decided to start his own business, and screw over his boss by charging half the price for his “hot dogs” (as they had become commonly known by this time). This is the Nathan’s you’re thinking of- there’s a reason why they sponsor of each year’s annual Hot Dog eating competition. Fact.
And while New York may lay claim to the entry point for the Hot Dog, and they claim Hot Dog superiority to everyone who will listen, the truth of the matter is that Hog Dogs found their true soul in the chunky, chunky landlocked clogged hearts of the Midwest.
While New York devotees might argue with America Fun Fact of the Day about this, and in fact there’s a lot of dissidence inside our offices as a result of this assertion (Shut up Spike Lee, why don’t you go to another Knicks game, huh?) but there is a reason why Chicago-style hot dogs are the only variation of a hot dog to deserve its own Wikipedia page. Chicago is one of the few places where it is almost universally expected for the hot dog to have the more expensive, but more delicious, natural casing, even though the method to create uniform Hot Dogs without casings was invented in Chicago in 1925. There are over 1,800 Hot Dog Stands in the city of Chicago, meaning that the amount of Hot Dog Stands in Chicago vastly outnumber the amount of McDonald’s, Burger Kings, and Wendy’s combined. Chicago Hot Dogs are packed with the right amount of mustard, neon green relish, diced onions, a pickle spear, fresh sliced tomatoes, sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt, all served on a lightly steamed poppy seed bun. That last sentence looked so delicious half the staff just started licking the screen while our New Yorkers on staff just started trying to convince themselves that it doesn’t sound that good, while their eyes widened.
Is…is this why God invented drool?
Just the mere fact that Hot Dogs were created in Germany, and that the originators of the Chicago-Style Hot Dog (the owners of Vienna Beef and the Hot Dog Stand Fluky’s, of which one of the locations was purchased and changed its name to “U Lucky Dawg” in an unbelievable move of “we just don’t give a shit”) were Jewish shows the unifying properties of the Hot Dog. If America is forged in the melting pot of the world, Hot Dogs are forged in a little more of a literal melting pot of various meats.
While it is commonly asserted by people who don’t understand what delicious is that “you never want to know what’s inside a hot dog,” we call bullshit. It’s beef, pork, and spices, ground mixed together, that’s it. The best (such as Vienna Beef in Chicago) are pure beef Hot Dogs with natural casing (sheep intestines, which is sort of like sushi- you think “That sounds gross” at first, then you try it, and you think, “I don’t care what this is, it’s delicious). The natural casing seals in the flavors, and is responsible for the incredibly satisfying “snap” you hear when you bite into a hot dog. That’s how you know it’s working.
Hot Dogs can be kosher, which is one of the primary indications that, deep down, the Old Testament God is just. If you take two Hot Dogs, and hold them together, and eat from one end of the first Dog to the back end of the second Dog without stopping, that is called “Chain-Chomping” or “A pretty good Wednesday.” While there is a popular commercial series about “What would you do for a Klondike Bar,” a recent Chicago Police Department has found that everywhere, there are 23 murders over Hot Dog ownership. Most of these instances involved one person stealing a Hot Dog from someone else, and instead of just spending two bucks for another dog, the wronged party plotted for weeks to mercilessly kill the man responsible for stealing their meal. Charges are usually not filed in this instance, as the family members of the victims usually reply, “Wait, he stole your Hot Dog? Oh my God, I’m sorry, I didn’t know. Yeah, that asshole had it coming.”
In a little used version of the 7th Inning Stretch, peanuts are replaced by Hot Dogs in the lyrics (to be sensitive to those who have peanut allergies, since listening about peanuts will make their ears shut close or some shit like that probably). That song states-
Buy me five hot dogs and cracker jacks
I don’t care, ‘cause I’m already fat
Despite the clear superiority of the Chicago-Style Hot Dog, other parts of America have their own American take on Hot Dogs, all of which are perfectly fine and acceptable, unless ketchup is added to the Hot Dog. Ketchup was invented by people who wanted to find a way to ruin Hot Dogs and make them not delicious- this is one of the most nefarious food conspiracies of all time. Think about it, during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, Americans were putting ketchup on their Hot Dogs. What color is ketchup?
That’s right. Red, comrades.
To emphasize how UN-American it is to put ketchup on your Hot Dog, here are a list of countries, and the way that they regionally prepare their Hot Dogs. All of these are the actual condiments that these country use, we are not embellishing. We only point that out because some of this shit sounds way too fucked up to be real.
– In Brazil, Hot Dogs come with mustard and ketchup, as well as other despicable shit like quail eggs, marinara sauce, canned peas, and corn nibblets. That’s not a Hot Dog, that’s wet cat food you can only find in the Vietnamese district. In West Virginia, they serve Hot Dogs with beanless chili con carne and sweet coleslaw. I’d much rather order a “West Virginia” Hot Dog than a Hot Dog with the words “anything-nibblets” on it. And West Virginia is like, only the 46th most American state. You’re gross, Brazil.
– In Colombia, they call it a “Perro Caliente” and they put mashed potato chips, cheese, strips of ham, ketchup (FUCKING KETCHUP), mayo, mustard, pineapple sauce, and chopped onions. We’re sorry, what the fuck? Were Hot Dogs brought down to Colombia by an Autistic 8 year old? What’s the origin story behind that? Did a bunch of Colombian kids break into a grocery store one night, put a bunch of hot dogs on the ground, and then go through the store trying to dare themselves to add the grossest combination of otherwise-good things they could? “Ha ha, let’s put ketchup on it.” “Ha, okay, but then I’m going to put on fucking pineapple sauce.” “Let’s crumble up some potato chips on this too!” “Guys, this is so fucking gross, let’s try to trick someone into eating it.” “Ha! Could you imagine?” That’s bullshit, we’re going to officially google every Colombian restaurant within a 10 mile radius of us and burn them all to the fucking ground.
– In Austria, a “Hot Dog” is a hollowed out baguette bread, where a sausage is placed with ketchup and mustard. Different types of sausages are used, like Bratwursts, so it’s not really a big deal that they put ketchup on this. Except that it’s not a fucking Hot Dog, you fucking Austrians. These World-War-I-starting-sons-of-bitches are sullying the name of Hot Dogs with this shit. Hey, assholes, if you stick a sausage in a hollowed out baguette of bread, it’s a fucking Hot Pocket (or a sort of painful sounding euphemism for sex). Either way, get that shit out of my house.
– In Slovakia, they don’t let you put condiments on your Hot Dog- instead of splitting the bun, they have a hole that runs partway through the bun, so that way you can’t even try to pretend you’re not interrupting an inanimate sex act with your teeth. You dip your Hot Dog in ketchup, and stick it in the hole. Did we mention that Slovakia was Communist until 1989? Think on that shit. It’s like the plot of “Red Dawn” combined with the plot of “Teeth,” either way, we’re getting sick to our American stomachs just thinking about it.
– In Turkey, they slice the Hot Dog open and stuff it with French Fries, ketchup, and mayonnaise (there’s a reason why mayonnaise is not even argued to be an appropriate condiment on a Hot Dog- because that’s fucking disgusting). Not only do they murder the Hot Dog just so they can cram ketchup inside the Hot Dog, but by using this method, you are forced to eat the French Fries with a fork so you can be able to eat the Hot Dog in your hand. If you need a fork to eat your damn Hot Dog you’re doing it wrong! We know Turkey’s our allies and everything, but we’re just saying…
– In England, Hot Dogs are put in a baguette that’s closed on one end, again, just to make it impossible for you not to think “This food is having really rough sex” while you bite into it and the Ketchup squirts out. Ketchup is the primary condiment that they use (despite the onions and mustard pictured above), and that should be a warning to everyone reading this thinking, “Well, it was kind of funny until they started ranting about ketchup being so evil to put on Hot Dogs. I like my Hot Dogs with ketchup, it’s a preference thing.” Well, that’s the exact justification the British probably used when they declared Steak and Kidney Pies to be one of their “delicacies.”
– In Kazakhstan, they serve sausages similar to Hot Dogs called “Kazys”. They are made out of horse meat and are put in horse intestines as casings, served with bread and onions. We’d let you put ketchup on that, because that’s disgusting, and anything to distract you from thinking, “I’m eating fucking Seabiscuit” is fair game.
Now it’s time for a rare instance for the AFFotD staff to take it easy on you, dear reader, especially because half of you have already closed the page disgustedly after the fourth time we insulted you personally for your preference of ketchup on Hot Dogs. While ketchup on a Hot Dog is a sin, and the other nations that put ketchup on their Hot Dogs do it just to defile the Hot Dogs and make us angry (or so we’re guessing), we should emphasize that the main sin in putting ketchup on a dog is that you fail to realize the Hot Dog’s full flavor potential. Ketchup drowns out the subtleties of the Hot Dog, and while the condiments of a Chicago-Style Hot Dog helps enhance the flavor, with a ketchup Hot Dog you only taste the Ketchup. Ketchup is tasty, and we understand that, but that’s why we save our ketchup for Hamburgers, a heartier meal and a different previously established AFFotD-approved cuisine. It is your right, as an American with freedom, to put ketchup on your Hot Dog, if that’s what you really want. Unless you put it on an otherwise fully loaded Chicago-Style Hot Dog, in which case your soul is forfeit. We’re sorry, we don’t make the rules, we just inform you of the facts.
So let us set our difference aside, and just recognize Hot Dogs as the most glorious American snack-on-the-go, other than maybe the deep-fried Twinkie on a stick. And the fact that we Americans can become so mindless enraged and impassioned over the simple concept of whether or not other Americans are allowed to put a combination of tomatoes, vinegar, salt, and high-fructose corn syrup on a cheap tube of encased meat puree is just one of the many things that make Hot Dogs so American. So, next time you drive by a hole-in-the-wall Hot Dog stand, eat four. Not for yourself, not for your hunger, but for…America.