In the doghouse
“Nobody, I mean nobody, puts ketchup on a hot dog.”
Even Dirty Harry knows the cardinal sin of hot dog eating in Chicago.
The month of July marks National Hot Dog Month, the celebration of the practically unidentifiable meat that somehow tastes so delicious. Hot dogs and baseball go hand in hand (or glove in glove). According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, baseball fans will consume more than 21 million hot dogs at major-league ballparks this year, enough to stretch from Citizens Bank Park in Philly to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.–the sites of the 2008 World Series.
Hot dog eating has even become a sport in itself, televised on ESPN. This year, Joey Chestnut set an incredible world record, downing 68 franks (including the buns) in 10 minutes.
Most hot dog eaters have their own personal style for how they dress their dog and rarely stray from the formula. My usual red hot consists of ketchup–I know, I should be tarred and feathered–relish and onion. Without that perfect combo, my hot dog eating experience is lacking. Here are some of our Cubs players’ orders at Chicago’s famous Weiner’s Circle:
Koyie Hill: “Lots of mustard, cheese and chili.”
Kevin Gregg: “Mustard only.”
Reed Johnson: “I hate hot dogs. If I did have one, I would have to put everything possible on it to drown out the taste.”
Micah Hoffpauir: “Ketchup only.”
Ryan Theriot: “Ketchup only. Sometimes I eat ketchup by itself.”
Aramis Ramirez: “Ketchup and mayonnaise.”
Randy Wells: “Mustard and relish.”
Kosuke Fukudome: “Mustard, ketchup, onion and definitely no pickles. Although a chili dog is preferable.”
Carlos Marmol: “Nothing on it; I just like it plain.”
— Jennifer Dedes Nowak