For some, nothing but a squiggle of mustard passes muster. For others, the pile of toppings looks like a hot mess—the good kind. When it comes to hot dog condiments, there is no right or wrong. There are, however, myriad creative and tasty complements. Before we begin making mouthwatering matches, let's take a moment to reflect on the origin of condiments.
Condiments, from the Latin condire ("to preserve, pickle, season"), have been a culinary tactic since Ancient times. They have been used both to preserve foods as well as to enhance flavors.
So compelling and powerful, condiment use has been a source of controversy in American cuisine. In the 19th Century, several attempts were made to ban condiments. No condiments? No kidding. Sylvester Graham (of graham cracker fame), published in his 1839 Lectures on the Science of Human Life that the applying condiments, including mustard, ketchup, and cinnamon, should be prohibited because they were "highly exciting and exhausting."
Is it just us, or does hearing this encourage some intense condimenting?! Yes!
TROPICAL SWEETIE DOG: Mango Jicama Slaw ($4.99 for 12 oz.) and Island Salsa ($2.99 for 12.5 oz.)—suffuse with tropical sweetness, this dog has a very social personality. If you like it really sweet, pour on the Island Salsa; if you don't, add salsa sparingly.
HAIR OF THE DOG THAT BITES DOG: Uncured Bacon Jam ($4.49 for 8.5 oz.), Roasted Potatoes with Peppers & Onions ($2.99 for 24 oz.), Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese ($3.49 for 12 oz.), and Jalapeño Pepper Hot Sauce ($2.29 for 5 fl. oz.)—this greasy, salty, substantial gooey-dness gets your neurons firing (unproven). It wants to be a brunch dog.
BREATH OF THE DOG: Caramelized Onion Dip ($2.99 for 10 oz.), Hawaiian Style Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips ($1.99 for 12 oz.), and Caramelized Onions—we’d hold our breath for a bite of this pleasantly pungent and punchy dog. If you would too, please share it with your kissing partner.
THUMBS UP DOG: Whole Grain Dijon Mustard ($1.79 for 12.3 oz.) and Spicy Pickled Vegetables ($3.99 for 20 oz.)—this dog deserves two thumbs up: one for the seedy kick of mustard, and one for the spicy kick of crunchy veggies; together delivering serious Chicago attitude.
HATCH CHILE MAC & CHEESE DOG: Hatch Chile Mac & Cheese ($2.99 for 12 oz.), Hatch Valley Salsa ($2.79 for 12 oz.), and Diced Red Bell Pepper—technically, this dog needs no bun; but it sure is great in one. Rich and creamy mac & cheese, kickin' Hatch Valley chilies, crunchy red peppers—it’s all that and a hot dog.
JA BITTE, DANKE DOG: Sweet Potato Frites ($1.99 for 15 oz.), Sauerkraut with Persian Cucumber ($3.99 for 18 oz.), and Deli Style Spicy Brown Mustard ($1.29 for 12 oz.)—we've given a sweet potato frites update to this classic, German-inspired frankfurter. What's more to say? Yes, please. Thank you.
CHAAT DOG*: Channa Masala ($2.29 for 10 oz.), Palak Paneer ($2.99 for 10 oz.), and Diced Yellow Onion—savory Indian chick peas; upon savory Indian spinach and cheese; upon a robust, savory hot dog—this well spiced dog takes chaat ("savory snack") to new heights!
*rhymes with "hot dog."
RODEO DOG: Chunky Spicy Guacamole Auténtico ($2.99 for 16 oz.), Cowboy Caviar ($2.49 for 13 oz.), and Organic White Corn Tortilla Chips ($2.69 for 16 oz.)—bucking with spicy, Southwestern-style flair, this dog makes you feel like strapping on spurs. Hold on tight!
SATAY SLAW DOG: Satay Peanut Sauce ($2.79 for 9 oz.), Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter ($2.49 for 16 oz.), Broccoli Slaw ($1.99* for 12 oz.), Lime, Sriracha ($2.99 for 18.25 oz.), and Cilantro—this is the ultimate way to eat your broccoli and your hot dog, too! Punch up the peanut sauce with peanut butter and don’t be shy with Sriracha!
*fresh produce prices may vary by region
While condiment complements can clearly create exciting character, their successful execution is contingent upon a quality frankfurter foundation. Whether it's beef, chicken or veggie-based, you want a dog that offers snap, a burst of juiciness, and meaty, savory flavor. We are well known for our diverse offering of top dogs. Representative of this selection are our All Natural Uncured All Beef Hot Dogs, All Natural Uncured Chicken Hot Dogs, and our Italian Sausage-less Sausage:
ALL NATURAL UNCURED ALL BEEF HOT DOGS
$5.99 for 16 OZ.
Character: Snap! These 100% beef dogs are bursting with classic hot doggery. In each bite explodes nostalgia for 4th of July picnics and baseball games.
Attributes: All beef, from cattle raised only on a vegetarian diet without any added hormones or antibiotics, these Hot Dogs are minimally processed and uncured (which basically means that there are no nitrates or nitrites added, only those that naturally occur in the celery juice and sea salt used in the recipe). No fillers. No MSG. No gluten. PER DOG: Calories 170; Total Fat 15 g; Protein 7g; Sodium 340g
Cooking tips: Being the quintessential cookout dog, grill ‘em up! Place the dogs over medium (or indirect) heat, turning occasionally until heated through (about 5 minutes). To avoid shriveled dogs, you can slash or spiral cut the dogs pre-grill. These techniques expose more surface area and allow the heat to penetrate to the center of the dogs more quickly, also allowing for shorter cooking times and juicier, plumper franks!
ALL NATURAL UNCURED CHICKEN HOT DOGS
$3.99 for 16 OZ.
Character: The great taste of a haute dog without the fat and calories you’d rather avoid. Well seasoned, they deliver mouth-watering, onion-forward flavor, but they are slightly more subtle than their beef kin. They convey bold, complex condiments favorably.
Attributes: All boneless, skinless chicken—60% breast meat and 40% thigh meat—flavored with spices like garlic, onion, black pepper and paprika. What they’re not made with is mechanically separated meat of any kind, added nitrites or nitrates (there are naturally-occurring nitrates in the sea salt and celery powder used in the recipe), MSG, gluten, or any fillers. PER DOG: Calories 70; Total Fat 3g; Protein 9g; Sodium 300g
Cooking tips: When the weather is great for grilling—go for it! Our preferred preparation for juicy plumpness is on the stovetop—in a covered pan, with shallow water, allowing the steam to bathe and heat the franks. After 5 minutes, check on the ends—remove from heat when they are starting to expand (but not yet split). Note: these dogs get mighty plump while steaming and will return to original form as they cool.
ITALIAN SAUSAGE-LESS SAUSAGE
$3.49 for 12 OZ.
Character: Unbelievably meat free, because it tastes a whole lot like Italian Sausage. It even eats like Italian Sausage, though the texture is a tiny note softer and less greasy, making it our favorite hot dog-less hot dog. It can carry an array of condiments confidently, and we'd cerainly encourage pickling it up!
Attributes: Made with soy protein and egg white powder, these vegetarian, kosher certified Sausage-less Sausages are completely meat free. Seasoned with onion, garlic, tomatoes, and red & green bell peppers, they have pleasing Italian flavor. Contains gluten. PER DOG: Calories 140; Total Fat 7g; Protein 13g; Sodium 500mg
Cooking tips: Like their meat-packed brethren, these are absolutely grill-friendly. To achieve the most sausage-like bite, we prefer sautéing them with of bit of oil in a frying pan on the stovetop.
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