The noblest of all dogs is the hot-dog; it feeds the hand that bites it.” ~ Lawrence J. Peter.
I wouldn’t say New York City is known for its hot dogs. But most New Yorkers have had a dirty water dog at least once. There is something ritualistic about having a frank pulled from that boiling vat, slipped into a soft bun and topped with mustard, sauerkraut and sweet onions. These dogs also carry a certain honor at baseball games, summer BBQs and after a night of drinking. 🙂
It also has many aliases:
Dog: Which comes from accusations that sausage makers in Germany used dog meat until the early 20th century.
Frankfurter: Whose namesake citizens of Frankfurt, Germany have been chowing down on pork sausages as far back as the 13th century.
Wiener: The German name for Vienna (Wien) and home to the first sausage made of both pork and beef.
One of its first American appearances was in Coney Island – the famous boardwalk amusement park in Brooklyn – when a German immigrant began selling sausages in rolls. But his former employee — a Polish man named Nathan Handwerker — gets more recognition. He went into business against his boss, charging 5 cents less for his Nathan´s Famous hot dogs… and the rest was history.
Today, there are hundreds of ways to make and dress a dog: You can have one made of pork, chicken, beef or tofu. Order it grilled, boiled or steamed. Sometimes they are wrapped in bacon or topped with chili. Have one on a stick or wrapped in dough. Chicago-style never adds ketchup and Kansas City adds melted Swiss cheese. Grab a cocktail weenie or a foot-long. In Rhode Island they´re made with veal and pork and topped with meat sauce. In Seattle throw cream cheese on top. Chileans call them completos, which are often twice the size of their American competitors and come with mashed avocado, chilies, chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise and cheese. In Japan you might find one in a bento box, sliced up to look like an octopus and topped with wasabi, kimchi and teriyaki. Scandinavians use a red sausage topped with ketchup, Danish mustard, fried and raw onions and a sauce made of mayo, sweet relish and dill cucumbers.
And here in Brasil? They´re called cachorro quente and sold out of about 50 trucks and small food shops throughout Uberaba. The one I ate was from a truck owned and operated by Japanese gentleman and aptly called japão. My frank was topped with chopped tomatoes, corn, ketchup, mustard, mayo, and ´´french fries´´ (which were actually fried shoestring potato chips.) I’ve been told some stands in São Paulo also add mashed potatoes on top!
Much like the pizza I told you about here — I am not used to having so many toppings on my hot dog. Overall it was tasty but I think I prefer mine with just mustard and sweet onions.
As Humphrey Bogart said ´´A hot dog at the ball park is better than steak at the Ritz.”
IF YOU GO:
The japão truck is on the corner of Rue Senador Feijo and Rue do Carmo in Uberaba.
They are only open in the evening, most days of the week
Cost: R$2.40 (approx. US$1.16)