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Hot dog

21st Jul 2021 | Food

Hot dog

Sitting back enjoying the sunshine the other day my mind focused on the delicious raspberry syrup slowly descending the ice cream I was holding, dripping onto the cone and heading inexorably towards my fingers.

Known by many as “monkey blood” the ruby red sauce combines in glorious gooeyness with vanilla ice cream for a taste that automatically transports you back to childhood.

Of course, no monkey or, indeed, blood is used in its creation. So, my mind got to pondering other food named after animals you won’t find amongst the ingredients.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has never called for a ban on Lion bars or, indeed, Panda Cola, similarly, the preparation of toad in the hole does not endanger any natterjacks.

Certainly nowadays, in this nation of animal lovers, the popularity of hot dogs doesn’t pose any threat to man’s best friend, but how did we arrive at this name?

It appears that German immigrants to the US brought with them not only sausages, but also the dachshund and it was the sausage dog shape of the hot dog, linked to the German vendors, that gave rise to its name.

Coupling the hot dog with a sliced finger roll (no fingers used) was a genius idea. As well as protecting from burns, it opened the door for the addition of a mind-blowing spectrum, of toppings that have now become as much a part of the snack as the hot dog itself.

Some are more acceptable than others. In the film “Sudden Impact”, Dirty Harry states categorically that “nobody puts ketchup on a hot dog” and who would argue with Clint Eastwood?

Clearly not the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council whose etiquette states ketchup should not be used on hot dogs by anyone over 18.

Instead, they suggest smothering your hot dog with sauerkraut, onions, chilli sauce, cheese or jalapeno – with mustard coming out in a poll as the number one favourite topping.

Or you could always follow the Greeks and put Tzatziki or Hummus on your hot dog and for obvious reasons we’re not going to dissuade you from doing that!