A Glass of Chianti

Saturday, June 11, 2005

There are no rules with hot dogs*

If you want to know the way to my heart, it is through that most glorious of one-dish meals**. This reveals (at least) two things about me.
1. I have a very unsophisticated palate when it comes to meat and
2. I'm a cheap date.***
When people ask me what I'’d like to eat when I'm a guest, I generally say that hot dogs sound like a great idea. This is usually followed by a chuckle and then a look that says "No, really. What would you like to eat?"” Philistines!
The hot dog is a beautiful (if neglected) genre of food. The sausage itself may be made from any number of meats from beef to veal and can be seasoned accordingly. The pairing of meat to bun is as highly rewarding as matching a wine to a cheese. A good choice will enhance the texture and flavor of the meat while bringing a certain structure to the meal. Though many hot dog eaters will claim that what makes the hot dog lies in the toppings, true connoisseurs know that it is the binding bread that can catapult a mediocre meat to an interesting culinary experience.
There are excellent options in the way of toppings as well, and those should be considered carefully when choosing the construction of the meal. One must avoid toppings that overpower the meat flavor, and much care should be taken so that the bun selection brings out the complementary flavors of any condiments. If the bun is the binding mechanism, the toppings create the atmosphere of the meal.

*The only rule is that which governs the subcategory of corn dogs. These must only be adorned with mustard, if anything at all.
**The most glorious of meals not limited to one dish is one that involves chicken-fried steak.
***Well, I hypothesize I would be a cheap date, as the sample size of relevant experience is so small I am not able to draw a reliable conclusion.