Thursday, June 20, 2013

Please Pass the Mustard...

By Ralph McDevitt


With the arrival of summer at 1:04 a.m. ET on June 21 also comes the beginning of one of the tastiest times of the year – hot dog eating season. The quintessential American entrĂ©e is synonymous with summertime. And whether you intend to ingest your favorite frank directly from your backyard grill, at a baseball game or from your local street corner vendor, there are certain rules you must abide by to be a true hot dog aficionado. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, which actually exists, stands by these very real rules of hot dog eating etiquette.

First of all, you must know that it is two words – hot dog. A hotdog is someone who shows off, and that is simply poor etiquette.

Secondly, condiments should be applied in the proper order: wet condiments like mustard and chili go first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions, sauerkraut, and cheese (shredded only) and then spices. Ketchup is unacceptable, unless you are under the age of 18.

You should take no more than five bites to eat a hot dog, seven bites if it is a footlong. Any less than that and you are a glutton. Any more and you are just showing off with your delicious redhot, which we have already established is poor etiquette.

And if you are wondering what wine goes best with your bunned, steaming cylinder of savory goodness, then just stop. Because beer, soda, lemonade or iced tea are the only appropriate beverage accompaniments. You can have wine with your hot dog, sure, but only if you want to show off. Tsk-tsk.

But the one true rule of eating hot dogs that trumps all these is this: Forget what anybody or any national council says, because there is no wrong way to enjoy a great summertime hot dog.

I hope you have a wonderful summer with lots of fun times with your family and friends!

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