Did you know that July is National Hot Dog Month?! It makes sense, considering that July 4th is the biggest hot dog holiday of the year, when Americans chow down on approximately 155 million hot dogs. And I'm happy to say that I definitely have had my share of hot dogs this month!
Even though I'm 19 days late on celebrating this glorious month of hot dog eating, it's not too late to pay homage to the beloved hot dog. Here are 12 different ways to eat your hot dog, one for each day for the rest of the month! And always remember - dress the dog, not the bun!
In case you can't make the trip to Birmingham, Alabama, to grab a bite to eat, try making one of these at home: a grilled hot dog served with sauerkraut, ground beef, and homemade "sauce" that resembles New York red onion sauce.
Originating in Sonora, Mexico, this monstrosity of a meal is a hot dog grilled in a processor or on a griddle, wrapped in Mesquite-smoked bacon, topped with freshly chopped tomatoes, onions, shredded yellow or cotijo cheese, tomatillo salsa or red chili sauce, pinto beans, mayonnaise, ketchup and/or mustard, and served on bread and often with a fresh-roasted chili. Whew - I'm stuffed just looking at it!
The Original Oki Dog
This hot dog "wrap" is found at Oki Dog in West Hollywood - two hot dogs on a flour tortilla, covered with chili and pastrami and wrapped up like a burrito.
Chicago-Style Hot Dog
If you are a hot dog lover, you must travel to Chicago and try one of their famous dogs. A Chicago-style dog is a steamed all-beef hot dog topped with chopped onions, sliced/diced/wedged tomatoes, both a dill pickle spear and sweet pickle relish, yellow mustard directly on the sausage, pickled sport peppers, and is finished with celery salt, and served on a steamed poppy seed bun. Chicago-style never includes ketchup, though some street vendors offer small packets for those with the guts to ask for it.
Kansas City-Style Hot Dog
In Kansas and Missouri, they take a simpler approach, by topping their dogs with sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese.
A staple for Boston Red Sox fans, ketchup, mustard, relish, piccalilli, and chopped onions are the most common toppings for a Boston dog. Also unique to Boston - hot dogs are often served steamed as opposed to grilled.
Originated in lower Michigan, the Coney Dog is very specific as to the ingredients: a beef and pork hot dog served on a steamed bun, topped with a beanless, all-meat chili, diced yellow onion, and yellow mustard. There are two variations on the Coney Dog: Detroit style, made with a runnier chili, and Flint style, made with thicker, drier chili. This version of a chili dog has developed into an entire restaurant industry, known as Coney Islands.
Traditionally, the Newark Style or Italian hot dog is made by cutting a round "pizza bread" into quarters, cutting a pocket into it and spreading the inside with mustard. A deep-fried dog is put in the pocket, topped with fried or sautéed onions and peppers, and then topped off with crisp-fried potato chunks. A quicker version of this dog, often called a Double Dog, can be found at local New Jersey luncheonettes and pizzerias, where instead of the traditional potato round, French fries are substituted, and a Portuguese or sub roll replaces the traditional round bread.
Seattle Hot Dog
In Seattle, hot dogs are served with cream cheese and grilled onions on a toasted bun. Before being placed in the bun, the dogs are split in half and grilled. The typical condiments offered are Sriracha sauce (a type of Thai hot sauce) and jalapenos.
All-the-Way Hot Dog
In West Virgina, hot dog lovers can go "all-the-way" with the traditional toppings of yellow mustard, chopped onions, chili (or "sauce"), and cole slaw.
Get the feel of São Paulo by filling a non-heated semi-circular bun with a weiner-type sausage, chopped tomatoes, vinaigrette, sweet corn, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and topped with mashed potatoes or French fries. This weiner is so massive that it is served in a plastic bag!
In the mood for Asian cuisine? Doesn't mean you can't have a hot dog! Hailing from the Northwestern states, a Japanese Fusion Dog is an invention that pairs hot dogs with Japanese and Asian condiments like wasabi, kimchi (a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings), miso sauce, Japanese mayo, teriyaki, and seaweed toppings.