Before you squeeze a red-sauced zigzag over your all American sausage, you may want to reevaluate your hot dog etiquette. An un-Chicagoan use of condiments may just get you ridiculed at your local wiener joint. But why the big fuss over mustard versus ketchup?
The ways of the wiener are not simply a tradition. The anti-ketchup craze has legitimate reasons to benefit your health as well. Ketchup contains large amounts of sugar that can not only raise your blood pressure, but also mask the savory taste of the Vienna beef dog. People who hold true to the belief that the traditional Chicago dog is the only way to go, know that the taste of the hot dog should only be enhanced and not hidden under a blanket of liquid sugary tomato sauce.
The classic Chicago style dog containing mustard, relish, pickle spears, chopped onion, tomatoes, hot peppers and sprinkled celery salt is as much of a longstanding tradition as deep dish pizza. A staple of the Chicagoan diet, the timeless frankfurter is also considered a right of passage into adulthood. Because ketchup is full of sugary contents, it is an easy meal to give to your little ones who don’t know that a ketchup dog is actually taboo. But like everyone else in the world, there comes a time when child-like ways must end and the acceptance of a superior hot dog condiment combo must be adopted.
The people of Chicago accept the fact that everyone reserves the right to cover their hot dog in whatever condiments they so please, but will also assert that the pairings of a hot dog with ketchup point to a less sophisticated palette. So the next time you find yourself at a summer barbecue or hot dog stand, you may want to think twice about your choice of toppings.
At Rand Red Hots, we won’t judge you if ketchup is squeezed onto your dog. You’ll just have to make a special request for it.