Hot Dogs go Haute Cuisine
Once relegated to a ballpark staple, hot dogs are showing up as one of the hottest food trends of 2011. This isn’t your backyard BBQ though, think boutique meats and far out toppings. From gourmet hot dog carts to appearances on fine dining menus, move over sliders it just might be the year of the dog.
When we hear the words “hot dog” several things come to mind; baseball, summer, cook outs…mystery meat. One of the most exciting things to come out of this food trend is that hot dogs are no longer made from unmentionable cuts. Boutique butcher shops are offering up their finest homemade beef and pork franks this summer giving you a classic flavor that you can feel good about eating. If you are in the mood for something a little more adventurous, keep an eye out for new ingredients showing up on a bun. Chicken and duck sausages are growing in popularity and don’t be surprised if you even come across foie gras at some of your towns finer dining establishments.
Maybe you feel like it’s not the dog itself that needs a change but are sick of the traditional white bread roll and mustard topping. This season’s hot dog selection is sure to have something for your palette as well. Already a street vendor classic in Korea, keep an eye out for deep fried French fry covered hot dogs on a stick. Picture a classic corn dog but with a knobby, crispy potato coating that is sure to bring to mind visions of county fairs. Hot dogs get a Mexican flare too this season with beans and jalapenos served in a classic Mexican bolillo roll or wrapped in a corn tortilla and deep fried. This may be one of the tastiest trends fusion cuisine has seen in years. Not satisfied with choosing between sauerkraut and relish? Hummus, guacamole pineapple almost anything the mind can conjure will be appearing on a hot dog in a neighborhood near you this coming year.
Not only have the flavors of your traditional hot dog evolved but so have the locations where they are served. Be on the lookout for gourmet hot dog vendors out on the street competing with their traditional counterparts. Eating in a hurry and on a budget is going to get a lot tastier. The next time you're out for a nice meal don’t be surprised if the lowly hot dog turns up on the menu. Some of America’s celebrity chefs are embracing this culinary trend with their own spin on the American classic. Look for miniature variations with unique dipping sauces. For the more health conscious turkey and veggie dogs get their moment in the spot light as well.
Hot dogs are more than just a convenient meal on the go. They are a symbol of all that is fun and laid back in American cuisine. We enjoy hot dogs not just for their delicious combination of textures and flavors but for all the memories they evoke. Just as we grow up and embrace new flavors and experiences our hot dog has also evolved. In a time when cash is in short supply but flavorful foods are in high demand it just may be the perfect season for this food trend to shine.