If you don’t like hot dogs, here’s an Internet trend you want to avoid: “hot dogs or legs.”
People take photos of their bent legs from the knee to mid-thigh in a manner that looks like a couple of hot dogs looking out over the landscape, usually a beach scene where oily, bare, hot dog-like legs are likely to be found.
I think these photos are found objectionable because of the cumulative effect of first comparing the naked, fleshy human body to an item that has come to symbolize gluttony and obesity, then thinking it should be photographed, then believing the whole world might like to see it on the internet. How could one not despair for humanity?
To clarify, this is not an anti-hot dog story. I’m down with the dog — up with the pup. I’ve watched the video on how hot dogs are made by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council and I’m drinking their Kool Aid and eating their 100 per cent all meat wieners.
Most hot dogs are apparently made with “trimmings” or pieces of meat too small to be packaged. Fewer hot dogs now than in the past are made using “variety meats”, which must be labelled as such.
Frankly (hee hee), I rather like the taste of hot dogs. I’d hazard that the majority of people that say they don’t like the taste are either lying or have some remaining trauma associated with middle school sports day.
Others are opposed to certain aspects of hot dogs on aesthetic or moral grounds. Vegans and vegetarians, you get a free pass on this one.
There are two main things that I object to about hot dogs:
First, imagine the most uninspired hot dog possible — probably the pink, individually-wrapped, bulk variety of my childhood — boiled, topped with one line of ketchup, and handed out by my similarly generic, pinkish grade one teacher.
When you consider this particular culinary experience, the worst thing about it is not the boiling, not the ketchup, not the low quality of the dog, but the bun — the dry, white, tasteless, and nutritionally useless piece of carb.
Even the professionals see the bun as an impediment; competitive hot dog eaters dunk the buns in water just to get them down.
Yes, there are good buns out there, but the fact remains that the bun exists primarily to keep your hands clean and as a vessel for the toppings, not for gastronomic benefit.
My second objection to hot dogs lies with the practice of cooking hot dogs into otherwise ordinary recipes, as if they were an actual food item. I’m not referring to adding gourmet toppings like caramelized onions and feta cheese to hot dogs— this is just the basic concept gussied up. I mean hot dog casseroles, hot dogs on pizza, and hot dog omelettes.
The whole point of a hot dog is to be a convenient food eaten with your hands. It offends my sense of practicality and efficiency that an item meant to take mere minutes to assemble from start to finish and is to be eaten standing up is now being chopped, mixed, and baked for 40 minutes at 375°F.
Furthermore, all-beef claims notwithstanding, let’s not pretend that hot dogs should be considered part of a healthy meal. Cooking them into a dish that is otherwise healthy does not make them healthy. Such Homer Simpsonion logic brought us Ritz cracker mock apple pie, Jell-O salad, and most of the contents of the Kraft recipe box.
Call me a purist, but junk food is not health food, knees are not hot dogs, and may we all preserve the sanctity of the processed animal trimmings.