Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hot Dogs . . . a gourmet food?

As a kid, I didn't mind when mom would serve hot dogs for a quick meal. I don't think it happened too often; maybe it was a fast Friday night meal before we headed back to school for an athletic event. And I certainly liked eating lunch at school when they served hot dogs because they also served mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and homemade hot dog buns.

Then I grew older and wiser and realize what comprised these logs of not-quite meat. So then came the all-beef hot dog phase of my early adult life when times were tough and children seemed satisfied with them.

And then, there was my all-out ban on meat or meat products. Not sure why I thought polish sausages and brats were still OK - especially grilled and served Chicago style - but I did.

Now, I found a company who produces all-natural hot dogs made from a variety of meats. Nice...but I'm not sure I could eat one. The folks at D'Artagnan have developed these dogs from natural meat from small, sustainable farms. There are no antibiotics, hormones, additives, fillers, nitrates or nitrates. The company boasts that these hot dogs are purebred quality.

Yeah, purebred what?

Four dogs pack a package and retail for $5.99 to $6.99. For a flipping hot dog? I can head down to my local HyVee and purchase 10 homemade brats from the meat case for $10. HINT - try the jalapeno brats from HyVee. They are de-lic-i-ous!

In all fairness to D'Artagnan, I would consider trying the beef hot dog. The beef used for this product were raised on small American ranches and were pasture fed. (I wonder if that is where our "Black Hoes" went yesterday. I know this little calvie went to market, this little calvie went...)

I might attempt a buffalo hot dog. I've eaten a buffalo burger before and it was pretty good. High in protein, low in fat. These buffalo roam on forage so it might not be too bad.

I'm not sure about the pork hot dogs. The company insists these pigs were raised in a free-range environment and foraged on acorns, alfalfa, and natural springs. Maybe grilled. With a lot of ketchup and relish.

But I have to draw the line somewhere - and I'm drawing it in front of the duck hot dog. The company says these ducks were raised on vegetarian feed on a farm in Pennsylvania and were never given antibiotics or hormones, resulting in juicy and plump duck dogs.

Now, that's just plain wrong.

Even with sauerkraut.

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