Americans will down 7 billion hot dogs over the summer, 150 million of them just on the 4th of July. That's a whole lot of .....whatever's in hot dogs.
Those numbers come from wiener-maker Oscar Meyer. The company also talks about, not what's in hot dogs, but what's on them. It turns out, not surprisingly, that mustard is the number one dog-topper, followed by ketchup, onions, relish and cheese. Around the 11 news studios, we asked, informally, if you could only put one thing on the dog, what would it be.
Me - ketchup
Shannon Brinias - ketchup
Brian Blesdoe - onions
John Owens - ketchup
Betty Sexton - mustard
But, if given the freedom to stuff the bun with more than one, I would include onions and cheese, (no mustard, I try not to eat anything yellow.) Brian would slop on some of the ol' K & M, John would add mustard and sweet relish (oh-so-sweet relish). Betty says it has to be a turkey dog under her mustard. And Shannon? Shannon says ketchup, and nothing else..don't even offer it. She would rather not have the hot dog than have anything else on it! You've got to like a woman who knows what she wants.
Oscar Meyer says lots of folks love chili on their dogs, as well as the very popular sauerkraut. I don't understand the whole 'kraut thing. Based on the smell, I would liken eating sauerkraut to consuming my own gym socks. I could be wrong.
All this hot dog talk reminds me of my days in Cincinnati. I spent three and a half years there as the weekend morning anchor at WLWT-TV. I got to work at 4am on Saturdays and Sundays and 9:30am on my other work days. Consequently I spent three and a half years perpetually tired. A great comfort/fatigue food is Cincinnati Chili.
It's spaghetti noodles covered in a chili meat sauce with double secret special ingredients (widely rumored to be tiny amounts of cinnamon and chocolate). It's really good. You can top it with cheese, onions, crackers, and other stuff. The Cincinnati chili parlors also sell things they call coneys. They're small hot dogs that also come with the same choice of toppings, including that Cincinnati style chili. They are really good.
Our 10 p.m. producer Mark Lammers is from Cincinnati; I was just a long-term visitor. Mark says you have to have coneys with chili, cheese, onions and mustard. He ought to know, it's his town.
So bottom line, I hope you have a few hot dogs made just the way you like them this holiday. I'm going to do my part to get us up to that 150 million for the day. I really wish I could have a Cincinnati coney.
We'll talk again soon.
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