There are plenty of food legitimate food rivalries that deserve your attention: Chicago’s deep dish pizza versus New York’s thin crust pie, McDonald’s versus Burger King, or North Carolina barbecue versus Kansas City ‘cue. One thing most people don’t argue about is that ketchup is a pretty darn good condiment, and the perfect accessory for burgers, french fires, and hot dogs.
However, that last item — ketchup on hot dogs — is apparently up for debate. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC), putting ketchup on your dog violates proper hot dog etiquette. Yes, there is actually a proper way to eat a hot dog.
The NHDSC is a project started by the National Institute of Meat, and it aims to be a resource for consumers on questions of food safety, preparation and nutrition.
If you want to properly enjoy a wiener, the NHDSC says, “Don’t use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.” While you may initially get fired up about their apparent disrespect for the beloved condiment, their reason for the rule is pretty simple.
Ketchup makers add sugar to their products, and purists think that ruins the taste of the dog. “Ketchup smothers the flavor of the hot dog,” wrote columnist Cecil Adams for the Chicago website Straight Dope. “That takes the edge off the highly acidic tomatoes, but it takes the edge off everything else, too. Which is exactly why a lot of parents like it.”
Yes, parents like it, but kids love it, we might add. That’s why your grandkids are perfectly happy eating a frankfurter that’s buried under a mound of ketchup. In other words, ketchup is for kids.
“We all have to grow up sometime,” says Janet Riley, NHDSC’s “Queen of the Wien.”
So this summer, to protect the “sacred all-American food,” as Riley would call it, and ditch the ketchup. If not, you’ll be committing a “frank faux-pas.”
Watch the video below to see more hilarious hot dog do’s and don’ts.
h/t Reader’s Digest