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What is a "New York Hot Dog?"


Harry
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I don't blame them.  Putting ketchup on a hot dog is a sure sign of a rube.

I don't make any personal judgments on people like that or ones that want mayo on corned beef, I feel sorry for them... Another thing they don,t have in Chicago is the Italian Hotdog. At least I can do that with local stuff. It seems to be cheaper to take a day trip to NY to get Pork roll, Sabrett dogs and oinion dressing along with a few other missed things than have it shipped. Most of the companies that offer to ship charge larger premiums for the product.
Living hard will take its toll...
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What's wrong with ketchup on a hot dog?

Here's an explanation from the archives of Straight Dope that is as good an explanation as any I've seen.

Why Is There No Ketchup on a properly made Hot Dog?

It's a fairly rational and common sense defense of the position but I side with those who remain puzzled by why so many people have a strong reaction to the practice - perhaps even more profound than the reaction of steak lovers who see someone slather A-1 sauce onto a well done steak.

If you don't put it on my hot dog I could care less.

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It's a fairly rational and common sense defense of the position but I side with those who remain puzzled by why so many people have a strong reaction to the practice - perhaps even more profound than the reaction of steak lovers who see someone slather A-1 sauce onto a well done steak.

When you refer to a "well done steak", I trust you are referencing a steak that is skillfully done, rather than one that has been overcooked to that temperature referred to as "well-done". After all, no real steak lover would do the latter to a perfectly good steak, and if he did, he would be on pretty weak ground regarding how meat should be treated. :)

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LPShanet,

Any difference between Papaya King and Gray's could be chalked up to other factors. Both places use the EXACT same dog. I've gone into detail regarding this in other posts. I've spoken to distributors, someone whose father drove a Sabrett truck for years (and had both places on his route) as well as a big shot at Marathon. Same recipe dog, same size. Katz's also uses the same recipe dog, but a slightly larger size. I was even given the case # or serial number for the dogs sold to Papaya King and Gray's. It is the same. Papaya King likes to say that the dogs are made special for them, but I can assure you that this  is not true. They like to tell people that theirs contain an extra spice, but this too is not true. One possible difference is that Papaya King is one account in the 10% that gets delivered refrigerated, not frozen. I don't know if Gray's is in that 10%. First time I went to both, I thought Papaya King was better. On other visits, they've tasted exactly the same or varied little due to time on the grill, freshness of the dogs, freshness of the bun, etc.

Great info, John. Thanks. On a related note, are the Sabrett hot dogs that have now made their way into grocery store cases the same recipe as the ones you refer to above, or is that another version of the Sabrett?

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What's wrong with ketchup on a hot dog?

It is too simplistic and child like as a food choice in the eyes of most people. I hardly use it for anything but a easy seafood dip base.
Living hard will take its toll...
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It's a fairly rational and common sense defense of the position but I side with those who remain puzzled by why so many people have a strong reaction to the practice - perhaps even more profound than the reaction of steak lovers who see someone slather A-1 sauce onto a well done steak.

I don't know if I can pinpoint it but I do know that I've had a physical reaction to seeing someone put ketchup on a hot dog since as far back as I can remember; even in elementary school in lower Westchester county where the cafeteria would serve hot dogs (I guess this was before the Clinton initiative), you'd see a couple of the new kids putting ketchup on their hot dogs and stick your tongue out. It might have been implanted in my head by my mother who grew up 10 blocks from Ebbetts field and grew up in Jewish delicatessens. Either way, to taste a hot dog, it was simply unimaginable to see it's taste enhanced by ketchup; even to the uninitiated, it makes about as much sense as whipped cream on a hamburger.

One thing I often seek out in other cities, and especially their ballparks, is their version of a toppings-laden hot dog, as there just really isn't a culture of that here. Rather a hot dog is more spare and I'll usually top it with saurkraut, mustard, and maybe relish if I'm in the mood.

I also get a wurst-fix at Hallo Berlin once in a while and this supercedes a hot dog jones - do others do this and where do you go?

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At this point in time it would be hard to argue that ketchup isn't one of the traditional topping choices in New York. The major New York hot dog places have ketchup and mustard out on the counters and many, many people use them. Nobody at Papaya King or Gray's Papaya looks at you funny if you do.

For me, the issue isn't with ketchup use as such. It's with blanketing a hot dog in a thick coating of ketchup. A thin line of ketchup next to the mustard, that's just fine -- it's a nice balance. I don't top my hot dogs that way, but I've tried it and it tastes good.

There's also a bit of a double standard evident in the hard-line anti-ketchup position. The objection boils down to ketchup being sweet. But what about sweet relish? And what about New York-style sweet onions in tomato sauce? Those items are, to me, just as one-dimensionally sweet as ketchup and do just as much to mask the flavor of a good hot dog.

For me, a very little bit of brown mustard and a very little bit of sauerkraut are the way to go. However, if I had to add a third topping I'd choose a little ketchup over those sweet onions or sweet pickle relish any day.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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There's also a bit of a double standard evident in the hard-line anti-ketchup position. The objection boils down to ketchup being sweet. But what about sweet relish?

I agree. I hate sweet relish. It's probably the main reason I don't like Chicago-style hot dogs. If I had to put one or the other on a hot dog, it would be ketchup.

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LPShanet,

Any difference between Papaya King and Gray's could be chalked up to other factors. Both places use the EXACT same dog. I've gone into detail regarding this in other posts. I've spoken to distributors, someone whose father drove a Sabrett truck for years (and had both places on his route) as well as a big shot at Marathon. Same recipe dog, same size. Katz's also uses the same recipe dog, but a slightly larger size. I was even given the case # or serial number for the dogs sold to Papaya King and Gray's. It is the same. Papaya King likes to say that the dogs are made special for them, but I can assure you that this  is not true. They like to tell people that theirs contain an extra spice, but this too is not true. One possible difference is that Papaya King is one account in the 10% that gets delivered refrigerated, not frozen. I don't know if Gray's is in that 10%. First time I went to both, I thought Papaya King was better. On other visits, they've tasted exactly the same or varied little due to time on the grill, freshness of the dogs, freshness of the bun, etc.

Great info, John. Thanks. On a related note, are the Sabrett hot dogs that have now made their way into grocery store cases the same recipe as the ones you refer to above, or is that another version of the Sabrett?

It is the same recipe, but in a skinless version. The natural casing dogs seen in the stores are usually 8 to a lb. For me, that is a good size, except that I find the 10's a little sturdier. The 8's are sometimes mushy. Whatever the size, Sabrett has one recipe for all beef dogs and one recipe for beef/pork dogs. The beef/pork mix is used at The Hot Grill, Windmill, and Callahan's in New Jersey.

John the hot dog guy

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LPShanet,

Any difference between Papaya King and Gray's could be chalked up to other factors. Both places use the EXACT same dog. I've gone into detail regarding this in other posts. I've spoken to distributors, someone whose father drove a Sabrett truck for years (and had both places on his route) as well as a big shot at Marathon. Same recipe dog, same size. Katz's also uses the same recipe dog, but a slightly larger size. I was even given the case # or serial number for the dogs sold to Papaya King and Gray's. It is the same. Papaya King likes to say that the dogs are made special for them, but I can assure you that this  is not true. They like to tell people that theirs contain an extra spice, but this too is not true. One possible difference is that Papaya King is one account in the 10% that gets delivered refrigerated, not frozen. I don't know if Gray's is in that 10%. First time I went to both, I thought Papaya King was better. On other visits, they've tasted exactly the same or varied little due to time on the grill, freshness of the dogs, freshness of the bun, etc.

Great info, John. Thanks. On a related note, are the Sabrett hot dogs that have now made their way into grocery store cases the same recipe as the ones you refer to above, or is that another version of the Sabrett?

It is the same recipe, but in a skinless version. The natural casing dogs seen in the stores are usually 8 to a lb. For me, that is a good size, except that I find the 10's a little sturdier. The 8's are sometimes mushy. Whatever the size, Sabrett has one recipe for all beef dogs and one recipe for beef/pork dogs. The beef/pork mix is used at The Hot Grill, Windmill, and Callahan's in New Jersey.

Thanks again! I think we need to officially recognize John's hot dog knowledge with some sort of title.

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