Going channel-hopping during a break in tonight's first game of the NBA finals between Boston and L.A., I stopped at the Food Channel which was showing an Unwrapped episode featuring the food of Chicago.
I've only been to Chicago once, and that was for a North American Bridge Tournament. For me, that meant bridge, day and night, with quick trips to McDonald's and almost as quick trips to bed. Sooooo, I can't say that I'm a ChiTown cuisine expert. And I'm glad a didn't try that hard to become one.
I like hot dogs. But I'm fussy. And I wouldn't like the prevalent Vienna Beef dogs all that much since I prefer the pork hot dogs. Up here, the prevalent brand is Maple Leaf Hot Dogs. I go through a couple of packs of those a month. The thin kind, not the big monster kind. That's important. I'm not much of a meat eater (basically just dogs and bacon). Biting through something more than an inch thick gives me the quesies. So, the Chicago Dogs wouldn't be to my liking for flavour or for shape.
Then there's the hometown rule that disallows ketchup on hot dogs. I've heard of some obscene things (ketchup being kept in the refrigerator, for instance), but not having ketchup on a dog is so very wrong, that there is no accurate word to describe where on the scale of wrongness that it falls. WAAAAAY down there, let me tell you.
One of the great food pleasures is to plop a dog into a bun, layer the three strips of ketchup on it, then squeeze it shut and lick the ketchup excess oozing out of the top. My salivary glands just went into hyperdrive typing this. Too late at night to scratch that particular itch, but I'll have a dog or two for lunch tomorrow, or today. Whatever.
For the folks who want to 'walk their dog through the salad' and worse, and disallow ketchup on their all-beef product, you are welcome to stay in Chicago. Up here in the civilized world, hot dogs and ketchup need nothing else to approach perfection.