Sunday, February 15, 2009

History and Ingredients of Chicago Hot Dog

The "Chicago Style" hot dog got its start from street cart hot dog vendors during the hard times of the Great Depression. Money was scarce, but business was booming for these entrepreneurs who offered a delicious hot meal on a bun for only a nickel. The famous Chicago Style Hot Dog was born! They'd start with a Vienna Beef hot dog, nestle it in a steamed poppyseed bun and cover it with a wonderful combination of toppings: yellow mustard, bright green relish, fresh chopped onions, juicy red tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, a couple of spicy sport peppers and finally, a dash of celery salt. This unique hot dog creation with a "salad on top" and its memorable interplay of hot and cold, crisp and soft, sharp and smooth, became America's original fast food and a true Chicago institution.

A true Chicago style dog contains distinct ingredients and is dressed in a very specific order. Depending on who you ask, the hot dog wieners can be boiled, steamed, or grilled, but one thing seems to be agreed upon almost universally - do not put ketchup on it. Ever.


100% beef hot dogs
Poppy seed bun
Yellow mustard
Sweet relish (of the neon green variety)
Freshly chopped onions
Dill pickle slice / spear
Tomato slices
Sport peppers
Dash of celery salt

No comments: