Whether crowned with relish, ketchup, sauerkraut or mustard, do not leave your wiener uncovered. Just as the clothes make the man, the toppings make the dog. And the most creative toppings present the best hot dogs. It’s Hot Dog Day, observed annually on the closest Wednesday to July 19.
The first dogs were offered with sauerkraut, a Germanic nod to the frankfurter’s origin. And while embellishing them with mustard and ketchup continues to be today’s most popular choice, the melting pot that defines America has resulted in some unique culinary concoctions.
Celebrate the day by setting up a hot dog buffet offering toppings from a world of international ingredients.
Give a nod to Italy and top them with marinara sauce, mozzarella and oregano. Take a bow to France with sliced cornichons, Dijon mustard and Gruyere. Indian-fare enthusiasts can indulge with curry sauce, mango chutney and a sprinkle of cilantro.
Hot Dog Day falls midway between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the seasons during which consumption escalates. From ballpark bleachers to backyard barbecues, teeth will sink into the bun-encased marvel all summer long.
Even if it did originate in Germany and your choice of toppings takes on a Mexican flare, the hot dog is as American as baseball and apple pie.