Whether crowned with relish, ketchup, sauerkraut or mustard, do not leave your wiener uncovered. Just as the clothes make the man, toppings make the dog. The most creative toppings present the best hot dogs. It’s Hot Dog Day, observed annually on the closest Wednesday to July 19.
While mustard and ketchup continue to be the most popular embellishments, the melting pot that defines America has resulted in some delectably unique culinary concoctions. The first dogs were offered with sauerkraut, a Germanic nod to the frankfurter’s origin.
Celebrate the day by setting up a hot dog buffet offering toppings from a world of international ingredients. Give a nod to Italy, try marinara sauce with mozzarella and oregano. Take a bow to France with Dijon mustard, Gruyere and sliced cornichons. 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, seasons during which consumption escalates. From ballpark bleachers to backyard barbecues, teeth will sink into the bun-encased marvel all summer long. It’s as American as baseball and apple pie, even if it originated in Germany or your choice of toppings takes on a Mexican flare.