Cross-cultural hot dogs


We do love hour hots dogs and frankfurters.

Most regularly we keep a bunch of beef dogs from Al Amena in the freezer.

Sometimes we splash out on the smoked – and much more expensive – versions from Andrew’s in Anderson St, Yarraville and elsewhere.

Problem is, we find when eating them in traditional style – in a roll – the balance of meat to bread is out of whack.

No matter what kind of bread roll we use, there is too much of it compared with the frankfurters, making two of them quite a big ask even when we’re really hungry.

So routinely we split the bread rolls lengthways and scoop out the soft middles, leaving hot dog receptacles that look like canoes.

Load up with franks and our choice of extras and condiments, and we’re happy.

However, our most recent hot dog frenzy took a different turn initiated by the happy presence in the fridge of a bag of fresh pita breads.

Place hot dog on half a pita bread; dress with homemade roast red capsicum, dijon mustard and dill pickle; roll up so it’s like a big fat cigar; eat.

(Roll up one end as you would with a kebab so the goodies don’t ooze out!)


And with a bread/meat balance pretty much attaining our ideal.

(We had an earlier version in our hot dog dinner that had the above ingredients PLUS chopped tomato. Turns out the halved pita bread is very moisture sensitive. Turns out, too, the mustard, capsicum and dill pickle provide enough flavour lift and moisture to do the job without the doggy wrap falling apart before its eating is completed.)

We sometimes also avoid the Bread Problem entirely by having our dogs with our version of spud salad – roughly mashed or chopped skin-on potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and a handful of chopped parsley.

I googled “cross-cultural hot dogs” and was surprised to find the results mainly concerned with curry powder and franks of various kinds, along with some interesting results obtained through introducing Japanese elements such as bonito flakes.

Funny that – I had a hunch that a universal dog may’ve had just as much cyber action as, say, the many variants on deep-fried dough or the countless genres of fried rice.

Hot dogs: What works for you?

9 thoughts on “Cross-cultural hot dogs

      • Yes, Anthony Bourdain was bowled over by it. This was fast food there before burger places became commonplace there (and McDonald’s does not dominate!).

        Your hot dog looks a bit more like a Danish hot dog which has the red skin, versus brown skin in Sweden.

        In terms of impending food trends, Melbourne has yet to experience hot dog eating in the vein of what you made – eschewing bigger, fatter, heavier gourmet dogs that you can hardly get into your mouth … for slimmer, tastier experience (less is more).


    • Yeah, like pizza, it’s all about that combination of ingredients in appropriate amounts to create something really tasty. Rather than a massive helmet of toppings and cheese (“value for money”). When we create pizza at home, it’s the search for “what combines well?”

      I like Michael Pollan’s take on food, where you eat less, eat more quality food that may cost a bit more rather than big amounts of cheap and nasty food.

      Of course, what stings is less-than-cheap and nasty šŸ˜‰


      • šŸ™‚

        Like your wonderful hot dogs, we prefer to make pizza at home. We used to live in Lygon Street, just behind all the restaurants, with smell wafting through. But never had pizza there. Wife just made pizza dough and away you go!

        Tonight, we had pizza with sopressa salami, roasted egg plant, roasted capsium, blue cheese, mozzarella and red onion. The search is ongoing for the most amazing combination of flavours.


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