Bernadette Noll

January 1, 1997

Post #630 – 19970101

After reading the AFTERLIFE DIET I must tell you to go to your grocery store and look for the Boar’s Head natural casing hotdogs. There are 7 in a package all connected of course by one long casing. Get out your vegetable steamer to steam your buns, slice up the Claussens, sprinkle a little celery salt and ENJOY! I am fortunate to be married to a Chicago boy and so was introduced to the celery salt concept soon into our courtship. For those of you reading, if you haven’t tried it yet, turn off your computer and get thee to a grocery store.

I am thoroughly enjoying your book. The part about the lost manuscript really explains a LOT! Thanks for your fine work.

Daniel replies:

Let's get this straight. To make an absolutely authentic Chicago-style hot dog, you need a steamed Vienna (tm) hot dog. The bun is a poppy-seed one, a little larger and more doughy than the supermarket kind. Yellow mustard, green pickle relish, chopped onions, tomato slices, 2 ""sport peppers,"" (little jalapeno-type things), and a genuine from-the-barrel kosher pickle spear, and of course the celery salt. The Boar's Head may _suggest_ the real thing--but it isn't.

Obviously you live in some Godforsaken place, like Benton Harbor and have to approximate as best you can, with materials available. It is easier to construct the New York hot dog when in the wilderness. A Nathan's hot dog, available in supermarkets, ordinary bun--lightly toasted perhaps, grill the hot dog, add sauerkraut, and Gulden's mustard--and you've got the real thing. Less ornate than the Chicago variety, but very good.

When in Chicago, risking one's health with the Polish sausage, and the Italian beef sandwiches is worth contemplating. Captain Pinkwater does not himself eat any of the dishes described in this post, but understands that others may.