Nothing says summer like the smell of roasting hot dogs, and although Americans can all agree that hot dogs are to be enjoyed at ballgames, backyard barbecues and all types of outings in between, how you top your hot dog can say a lot about where you're from. July 19th is National Hot Dog Day. Celebrate in your assisted living community this year with the dog of your choice, and see how close we can come to guessing where you’re from.
Chicago Hot Dogs
Wieners from the Windy City are some of the most distinctive because they almost look like they have a salad built on top of the meat. Chicagoans call this “dragging it through the garden," which includes adding a whole dill pickle spear, big slices of tomato, chopped onions and whole peppers. Depending on taste, mustard, relish and ketchup may also be added. This variety is often encased in a poppyseed bun versus a plain or potato bun.
New York Hot Dogs
New York hot dogs must be of the Kosher all-beef variety, but other than that, dogs from the Big Apple are rather simplistic in nature. Simply pile high with sauerkraut, add a bit of spicy brown mustard and nosh away.
These Midwest favorites, also commonly called chili dogs, are smothered in beanless chili and topped with chopped onions, shredded cheese and sometimes even thin jalapeno slices. You might also like to add a bit of mustard to the concoction, but ketchup is a no-no. Like New York dogs, Detroit Coneys are often all-beef franks.
Texas Hot Dogs
Almost stereotypical in nature, this meal from the Lone Star State is a giant frank (everything is bigger in Texas) that's smothered in queso sauce and jalapeno slices. For added flavor, salsa and beanless chili are also optional toppings.
Hailing from the home of great BBQ, the Memphis dog is a pork wiener wrapped in or topped with bacon plus added barbecue sauce, chopped white and green onions and shredded cheese. The Memphis dog also features a bun that’s been toasted or grilled.
Kansas City Hot Dogs
Kansas City hot dogs are distant cousins to New York hot dogs as both feature sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard. Kansas City dogs take toppings one step further by also adding a slice of Swiss cheese and mimicking Chicago’s use of poppyseed buns.
Sonoran Hot Dogs
This Southwestern variety, named for the dessert in Arizona where they're commonly found, relies on all of the tastes of the Southwest to make its dogs unique: avocado slices or spicy guacamole, pinto beans, jalapenos, spicy shredded cheese and a slice of bacon wrapping the wiener itself. Top it all off with diced onions and tomatoes. For sauce, you can choose between mayo, mustard or salsa. If you’re daring, all three mixed together.
Southern Slaw Dogs
The South can’t resist serving summertime meals without coleslaw, and hot dogs are treated no differently. Southern slaw dogs are piled liberally with sweet coleslaw. You might also add a bit of chili, a dab of mustard or some liberally applied ketchup.
The All-American Dodger Dog
This last variety may have originated in LA’s Dodger Stadium in the 1960s, but baseball fans and frankfurter enthusiasts nationwide will recognize this concoction as the quintessential All-American classic: a footlong frank, topped with chopped raw white onions, green relish, ketchup and yellow mustard. Plain jane as they come, this hot dog pleases generation after generation regardless of taste and geography and is also the mainstay of diners, gas stations and truckstops throughout the land.
If all this dog talk has you hankering for a wiener on a bun this summer, gather some assisted living community friends for a cookout or get a group together for a visit to the Terra Haute Sonic for coneys and milkshakes.