Dress the Dog! And Never, Ever, Use Ketchup Over the Age of 18!

Hotdog Wiener dog

…so says the National Hog Dog & Sausage Council.

Yes. You read that right. A National Council. It’s a Thing.

They are “the official trade association” based in Washington, D.C. They even ‘codified’ it in a paper titled, Hog Dog Etiquette and everyday guidance for eating America’s sacred food.

Yes. You read that right. In Washington, D.C.

They’re not the only ones to weigh in on the ketchup Hot Dog debate. According to AmazingRibs’ ‘Meathead Goldwyn,’ “Chicagoans, reknowned [sic] for our worship of the all beef frankfurter,” don’t argue with kids if they order ketchup, but an adult, “they’ll point you to the bottles used for garnishing French fries and tell you to “go rune it yaself.””

“It is such a Chicago shibboleth that when Bob Schwartz, a VP of Vienna Beef, the leading Chicago wiener supplier, wrote a book, he titled it “Never Put Ketchup On A Hot Dog“. He calls ketchup an “affliction”.”

Meathead tells us about the time, supposedly, former president Barack Obama is said to have even weighed in by writing an official proclamation on June 3, 2011 addressing the matter.

I couldn’t find anything at the White House archives about “official proclamations,” but I did find a mention of Obama and hot dogs here in the archives of the White House blog dated July 13, 2011, called “Promise Kept.”

And Anthony Bourdain, he said, relayed a conversation he had with the former POTUS “when he asked him [Obama] if it is ever acceptable to put ketchup on a hot dog?” and Obama replied, “Well, you know, to each their own…but after the age of 8 an intervention is required.” Bourdain replied, “And I agree…I think there is a time and a place for ketchup and I don’t think the hot dog is one of them.”

“Do not put ketchup on your hotdogs. Be assured, God doesn’t want you to do that.” ~Anthony Bourdain.

In June 2011, it was reported, “Oscar Mayer and Ball Park found themselves before a judge in Chicago accusing each other of false advertising” over the issue of: Who is The Best.

Yes. You read that righ … ahh, hmm, I believe I’m seeing a running theme here.

“Apparently ChefsBest in San Francisco…” Wait. San Francisco? California? Umm, sure. I don’t have to be from Chicago or be a National Hog Dog & Sausage Council Ambassador to know that one is just wrong.

So, apparently, the story goes, ChefsBest did a taste test of hot dog samples and Oscar Mayer won. And naturally they crowed about that in their advertising and Ball Park took exception to that bold claim. And of course, what does any red-blooded American do when insulted in such manner? They sue. Of course.

Finding themselves in front of a U.S. Magistrate … in Chicago, “U.S. Magistrate Judge Morton Denlow grinned and asked “And how would ten chefs in San Francisco know what the best hot dog is when they have never been to Chicago or tasted a Chicago hot dog?” When the Ball Park counsel complained that the chefs were not given the opportunity to squirt ketchup on their dogs, Denlow interrupted, saying “That’s an area of great debate.””

And it is. Apparently, Everything About Hog Dogs Are A Debate.

Want the answer to the eternal debate: Is A Hot Dog A Sandwich?

The Council has made their determination.

And the verdict is…

“…a hot dog is an exclamation of joy, a food, a verb describing one ‘showing off’ and even an emoji. It is truly a category unto its own.” 

“Limiting the hot dog’s significance by saying it’s ‘just a sandwich’ category is like calling the Dalai Lama ‘just a guy.’  Perhaps at one time its importance could be limited by forcing it into a larger sandwich category (no disrespect to Reubens and others), but that time has passed,” said NHDSC President and ‘Queen of Wien’ Janet Riley. “We therefore choose to take a cue from a great performer and declare our namesake be a “hot dog formerly known as a sandwich.”

There you have it, the Wiener Council has made its proclamation.

So, for all the answers you were looking for, or not, on the proper way to ‘dress’ and eat your dog, the Naz … uhh, National Hot Dog & Sausage Council @ hot-dog.org  is the place to go. From proper etiquette to consumption statistics, from sausage basics for cooking tips to guides on beer and bologna, from restaurants to culture. It is your one stop shopping to the World of Eating Dogs and Etiquette. Or, you know, just move to Chicago. Or not.

Hot Dog Etiquette
National Hot Dog & Sausage Council
Published June 30, 2008

Question for the night: How do you dress your ‘dog’?

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