Beans, beans, bacon, onions, ketchup, mustard--all acceptable toppings.
Beans, beans, bacon, onions, ketchup, mustard--all acceptable toppings.
Photo by mmmyoso

How Do You Dress Your Dog?

So often while watching Mad Men I am completely gobsmacked by the way things used to be in the olden times. I mean, wow -- smoking while you're pregnant? Referring to pot as grass? Crazy pants.

I thought had seen it all until season 6, episode four ("The Collaborators") when Don gets stoned and tells Stan Rizzo that "A hot dog cries for mustard," thereby disagreeing with the assertion that (Heinz) ketchup was the more natural complement. Wowser. I didn't realize there was a time in which ketchup played second fiddle to mustard in the world of hot dogs.

But then, reflecting deeper, as I am wont to do after watching three-plus hours of television and eating half a bag of Fritos, I realized that neither ketchup nor mustard is the still the go-to condiment for hot dogs. These days, dawgs are dressed with everything from curry slaw to kimchi to bacon to beans.

Although the rapid diversification of hot dog toppings general excites me, I do wonder who will be first to push the envelope with something balls-to-the-wall insane or just simply revolting. In the world of pizza, we have seen Pizza Hut proffer some transcendent albeit terrible innovations on the traditional pie. God knows the Oreo people are not afraid to vend bizarre varieties, particularly in China.

The people in the mid-Atlantic region seem especially keen on topping their hot dogs in odd fashion. For example, this Pennsylvania tyke pioneered the use of peanut butter as a hot dog topping.

New Jersey's Cool Dog Café not only offers a Filipino Dog crowned with sticky rice, mango, and sweet chili sauce, but also -- get ready -- sells the Gadzooks Dog, loaded with brownie bits, peanut butter, chocolate, caramel, and whipped cream. Because nothing says dessert like a tube of meat dressed with sundae toppings.

Readers, have you spotted any particularly off-the-wall hot dog toppings lately? Or do you dream of a world in which [insert your secret dream topping] exists?

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