Hi! I’m Ranty McRanterson!

Gird your loins, kids. I’m about to go on a little rant. Or maybe a big rant. We’ll find out together, eh?

Food & Wine magazine’s tumblr account recently made me aware of two things I did not know before:
– A body of alleged authorities on all things sausagey exists. It is called the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council.
– They believe themselves to be the highest authority in the land on how to eat a hot dog.

Being a ruling body, you know these folks are making up some rules. Rules about the proper way to put a hot dog in your body. This instantly makes me feel rebellious. Who died and made them Hot Dog Gods? I mean, I think we all generally get the idea. It’s a fucking hot dog. It’s not that crazy puffer fish thing that has to be prepared in such a way so as to avoid deadly neurotoxins. It’s a hot dog.


Before my head explodes too soon, let’s get into this thing.

I’m not going to list every single “do” and “don’t” because I honestly can’t believe there’s even a list, let alone a list that long. I mean, click that link. It’s like, potentially anxiety inducing.


Put hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always “dress the dog,” not the bun.

Condiments should be applied in the following order: wet condiments like mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.

So the bun isn’t that important, right? It’s just a vehicle for getting the hot dog and toppings to your mouth without making a mess, right?

Also, heaven forbid you want the cheese to melt a little. It won’t. It won’t be anywhere near the heat source that is your hot dog. It’s going to sit on top of all those cold condiments.
But wait! This just in…

Serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.

So the bun is important. But only in the sense that it should absolutely taste like nothing, nothing at all. Do not try to get fancy with your bun. The Hot Dog Police will show up and write you a citation for Just Going Too Far.

Also, can we discuss the use of the word gauche in relation to hot dogs? Isn’t the very act of putting food directly into your mouth hole with your arm shovels kind of negating any concerns about being gauche?

It gets super confusing when you consider these little nuggets of tubesteak wisdom:

Use a cloth napkin to wipe your mouth when eating a hot dog. Paper is always preferable.

Eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.

Use paper plates to serve hot dogs. Every day dishes are acceptable; china is a no-no.

Condiments remaining on the fingers after eating a hot dog should be licked away, not washed.

So we’re worried that it’s the sun dried tomato hot dog bun that’s going to make us appear gauche? It’s not the paper napkin or the eating with our hands or licking our fingers or the paper plates?

Take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For foot-long wiener, seven bites are acceptable.

Ma’am, I’ve been counting your bites and it would appear you’ve violated Rule 4, subsection 2.1 of the Hot Dog Consumption Code. You’re going to have to come with me.

I’ve got a bite you can count.



Use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18. 
Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.

File this one under Oddly Specific. Imagine getting carded for condiments.

I don’t like ketchup on my hot dog, but I am not gonna tell you not to have it. When you eat food, you want it to taste good to you, right? It doesn’t have to taste good to High Lord and Emperor of Hot Dog Land, just you. Put ketchup on your hot dog if you damn well want. Open your mouth. Put it in your face. You’re getting to eat while that guy is still over there dressing his dog in layers like this is a flipping fashion show and not a back yard picnic.

I can’t even go on. It’s just too much. I just have one final message for the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council…



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