Kevin Cheek

August 31, 2014

Post #3808 – 20140831

You asked: "What is it about hot dogs?"

It is the fact that you write about them with such longing and such great description of the multi-sensory assault that is the experience of eating a genuine Chicago Dog that causes us to share that longing. I've even started looking for Hawaiian shirts with brightly colored tomatoes, pickles, etc.

Sadly, I'm health conscious and have taken to grilling fat-free spiced chicken sausages (sage, apple, and green chile are good flavorings) and serving them with sliced kosher pickles, fancy mustard, and grilled chiles on a steamed whole-grain bun. It's not the same experience, but I may live longer to enjoy more of them over the long run.

Daniel replies:

I don't think I ate many more than 20 Chicago hot dogs in all the years I lived in Chicago. When the meticulously authentic establishment opened in my current locale, I may have eaten another 10 or fewer, but I struck up a friendship with the proprietor, (who perished, I believe from eating his own product). So when I visited him, I would order a dog sans sausage. The other ingredients qualify as food, excepting maybe that bright green relish. As to longing for them...I don't long. It's a literary device. I approve of your less lethal chicken sausage combination.