Friday File – Fest of Frankfurters – Get ’em while they’re hot!

Chicago Hot Dog-2

– photo courtesy of

Feast your eyes on the genuine article; the real deal, the, “Chicago-style hot dog”.  Yes, my dear readers, this little number is a certified, true Chicago hot dog! I shall list the ingredients in no particular order:  yellow mustard (a must), white onions, sweet pickle relish (very green, if you know what I mean), a wedge of dill pickle, tomato slices, a pickled sport pepper (whatever on earth that is), and a dash a celery salt for good measure! Oh, my, I forgot to mention the hot dog itself! It is an all-beef number, with the carrying case a poppy-seed bun!

Chicago Hot Dog no ketchup sign

– photo courtesy of

The above sign speaks volumes in this town; Chicagoans take frankfurters feasting very seriously.  Case in point:

Chicago Hot Dog no ketchup book

– photo courtesy of

There is actually a book about the holy grail of hot dog dignity in this city.  Woe betide the unfortunate soul who dare sneak a ketchup packet into their pocket in any hard-core hot dog handler in CHItown.  Joe Mantegna (who stars in the hit tv show, “Criminal Minds”) wrote the preface for this book.  And yes, Joe is from The Windy City no less!  I am sure in Joe’s eyes, ketchup on hot dogs is criminal in and of itself!!!  The Foreword was written by Bob Sirott, also a Chicagoan and radio host to boot.

Ah, and what would all the lure and lore be without a festival to honor such frankfurter fodder?

Chicago Hot Dog Fest

– picture courtesy of

This weekend marks the annual, “Chicago Hot Dog Fest”, hosted by the Chicago History Museum.  And so, at this point are you pondering the same query as I am?  Hot dogs and a history museum.  What is the connection?

Chicago Hot Dog Dress Up

– photo courtesy of

Now that is what I call customizing your cuisine! Here is my little dogma on the dog deal:  The above photo is a display of a hot dog at the Chicago History Museum.  As you may notice, there are a plethora of ingredients with which to um, ‘dress’ your hot dog.  I wonder if this is a test:  placing the wrong ingredients on you (I mean, ‘your’) frankfurter in a sheer and utter defiant dog mode brings with it lights, sirens, and a sticker on your forehead with the forbidden fruit sign on it.  You are escorted off the premises, and the lesson of Chicago Hot Dog History is complete!

Chicago Hot Dog no ketchup sign

– picture courtesy of

Why don’t you give it a try? I double-dog dare ya!

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