Many years since childhood, and I have maintained a deep love of the hotdog. I’ll buy them at the ballpark, for the grill, and they are one of the main reasons I love New York City. It cannot be denied that hotdogs are as much part of American culture as driving SUVs or hating Canada. Hotdogs were pulsing through American blood back with Babe Ruth and Hank Arron. Today college kids stuff hotdogs in microwaves, mothers throw hotdogs in macaroni and cheese, and a cookout isn’t a cookout if it lacks a hotdog. Dwight Eisenhower is quoted as saying “Some people wanted champagne and caviar when they should have had beer and hot dogs”.
I never imagined I would see a love of the dog more than in the states. I was wrong. Thailand takes the love of processed meat slurry to a grandeur unseen by Yankee stadium. (Yankee stadium sells about 30,000 hotdogs a game) There are hotdogs everywhere in Thailand; on the street, in the store, at sporting events, and even at school. As I lover of hotdogs, I can say my disgust for the pups has blossomed overnight after seeing the way Thais prepare their moist sausage. At the numerous Thai 7-11s one can find a traditional hotdog on a bun and have the resources to load it with ketchup (sauce) and onions or tomatoes. Move your feet in any direction away from 7-11 and Thailand will present a fierce array of hotdogs dishes. My first experience with a hotdog variation was at a the Tesco Lotus Super Store, where sliced hotdogs were being served in a papaya salad. Salad? hotdogs? Yes, they did, and do. They not only cross the greens/hotdog divide but Thailand crosses the hotdog/desert line aswell. Hotdogs wrapped in croissants, hotdogs wrapped in donuts, hotdogs drenched in frosting mixed into a sweet roll, and hotdog cakes. Dog variation can be found in just about every ile of a super market; hotdog flavored chips, hotdog pies, hotdogs wrapped in pork, and hotdog slices. The most common form of the hotdog is perpetuated by the Thai street vendor. (the man or woman who stands with assorted cooking devices under an unbrella attached to a motorcycle) These street merchants serve hotdogs with tiny slices made in a pattern along the sides, much like the grill marks left in hotdogs after an afternoon in Forest Park, and dipped in a barbeque sauce.
There was a time when I loved the hotdog, but I’m not sure when that will circle back. I’m sorry America. Maybe I need a Brewers tailgate or a talk with NYC hotdog vendor to feel right with a dog in my hand.