Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ketchup vs. Mustard

Spending a year working for Oscar Mayer and with the informal job title "Hotdogger" I think I have earned the right to call myself a hot dog expert. This is my first, but certainly not my last, hot dog related post.

I'm headed to Chicago this weekend and that has me thinking about the Ketchup vs Mustard debate. Die hard ketchup fans will be surprised to find out that Chicago natives despise the stuff. Chicagoans reserve ketchup for the 10 and under crowd, and maybe french fries. Ketchup on a hot dog? Blasphemy. Unassuming tourists have been known to ask for ketchup on their hot dog, and vendors refuse to apply it for them. Some hot dog vendors don't even carry the stuff, and will point ketchup lovers in the direction of the nearest McDonald's.

Surprising, I know, why so much hate for a simple condiment? The answer is as simple as it is justified. The Chicago hot dog of choice? Vienna Beef. It's not your 99-cent-off-brand-mystery-meat dog. Vienna Beef hot dogs are juicy and flavorful. The sweetness of the ketchup over powers the flavor of the meat, while mustard enhances it. Add relish, tomatoes, onions, sport peppers, a pickle spear, celery salt, and a poppy seed bun, you have the perfect Chicago hot dog and an amazing flavor combination. Next time you are in the Windy City, get your hot dog Chicago style and I promise you won't miss the ketchup.

Can't get enough on the Ketchup vs. Mustard debate? Check out my friend Meathead's blog.

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