"Wieners and Losers"

2009
Feb
19

Just a couple totally trivial (and probably nutritionally awful) observations from the last time I had a hot dog.

Hot Dog Buns are truly the Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread, and please let’s get past the old mismatched-quantity-hot-dogs-vs-buns conundrum/standup-comedy-bit, since no matter how many wieners are in a package, the optimum for buns will always be a multiple of 4 (most often 8 or 12)*. Because here you have the buns, baked together in a block of four, and as you pull one from the block, you find it partially sliced in the middle so you can fold it open and drop in a wiener without separating the bun into two pieces. Who thought of that minor marvel of convenience? And who made it work (even if it doesn’t always work)? And why can’t I find a picture of one of these wondrous machines on the web? (I have found three patents for such machines, one from the 1950s, one from the 1970s and one from the 1990s, which means that hot dog bun slicing technology continues to move forward!)

On the other hand, one ‘modern convenience’ that simply does not work is the squeeze bottle of Pickle Relish. Dribbling pickle juice and a bottleneck of relish (no matter how large the opening) that always releases with a burst of way more relish than you really wanted (and not always where you wanted). There is no way to make this work, and I have tried them all. The pump dispensers at the hot dog stand outside Costco stores work well, but the smaller ones inside 7-11s, not so much (although I have not attempted to use one of those since before the Millennium, and the last time I did, the chili dispensing pump was also less than optimum). A Costco-sized relish dispenser is out of the question for me, so good pickle relish will always require a wide-mouthed jar and a utensil (Fork or spoon? I’m not partial to one or the other. I am proudly bi-utensilish, a true sporker).

And one more thing about relish. DILL Pickle Relish is always a special treat and a taste surprise, no matter how well you know in advance what you put on the hot dog/sandwich/hamburger in question. UNLESS you ONLY use Dill Relish; then, after a certain amount of time, your picklish appetite inevitably begins yearning for the sweet stuff.

And chunky salsa (fresh in the carton, not in the jar) can be an occasional substitute for fresh tomatoes, but that wears out its welcome rather quickly (less quickly if you use Mild Salsa, but I’ve always admitted to having Gringo Taste Buds).

*I finally came to accept the quantity mismatch as a Way of Life after I started buying Hebrew National Franks that are SEVEN to a package. Seven?!? And yes, I was brainwashed by their ad campaign claiming that their wieners were of a higher quality and purity because they were Kosher. Of course, there are other things blessed by Rabbis (circumcisions, the Israeli military, Woody Allen) that I am far more dubious of… Still, I like the flavor of Hebrew Nationals far more than Ball Park, Oscar Mayer or even Farmer John Dodger Dogs (forgive me Vin Scully, but Sandy Koufax would agree with me), and I feel less guilty with their 97% Fat Free Franks or even their (Kind Of) Reduced Fat Franks and wish they had similar alternatives for their Big Honkin’ Polish Sausages, which do come FOUR to a package.

1 Comment (so far) about

"Wieners and Losers"

  1. Shawno Says:

    Hebrew National FTW. And you’re right about the squeeze relish. It’s useless.

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