Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hebrew National Hot Dogs

A hot dog is not something your typical gourmet indulges in on a regular basis, if ever. Luckily for me, I'm no gourmet. Still, other than the occasional turkey or soy dog (I like Morning Star Farms dogs and corn dogs the best), I didn't purchase hot dogs as a general rule. What other meat is so famous for being so grossly mysterious? For one thing, they are not a healthy food (duh). Most have lots of fat, or lots of preservatives, carcinogens, and other chemical ick (yes, even some of the veggie ones.) Also, I've seen the process of making a typical hot dog on Discovery, or say, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. When you watch a hot dog go from raw product, to yellowy extrusion, to the addition of smoky flavors and nitrites, the temptation to eat one is lessened considerably. Now add these other factors to an unfortunate incident I experienced as a teenager, in which I pulled a largish piece of coiled plastic sheeting out from within a cheap frankfurter. You'll see that my odds of ordering the grilled chicken sandwich instead of the mystery dog at Wrigley become very high indeed.

But while at the ol' Trader Joe's, I had a summertime craving for a really good hot dog. And I saw the Hebrew Nationals, a 100% kosher beef frank (I don't eat pork, either, my Jewish brothers) that contains nothing artificial. I remembered how much I liked them when they gave them away once a year at the office building in Skokie I used to work in. I got the Reduced Fat, and so far I like those the best. The 97% Fat Free variety, sadly, didn't have nearly as good a flavor.

Hebrew National hot dogs

Of course, even while eating hot dogs, I'm trying to "up" the nutritional value and minimize the damage... So I paired the dogs with TJ's sweet potato oven fries (cook 'em high and hot, or they'll sog out on you), and dipped those in a little low-fat ranch mixed with BBQ sauce (my two current favorites are Sweet Baby Ray's and Famous Dave's Texas Pit.) And, of course, whole wheat buns. I put Dijon mustard and relish on mine, and tried not to look when C-Dub added ketchup to his. I just kept reminding myself, "He's a good man, he's a good man..."

For my money, these are the best and the only dogs out there. But I could be suffering from inexperience, since I haven't tried them all... Would you sooner die than eat one? Or do you eat several every week? How do they fix 'em where you live?

What's your favorite hot dog?


  1. "Dog tired." Hee hee.

    I've never heard of Hummel brand... Gonna have to Google that one...

  2. OHHH, I loves me some dirty water Hebrew National dogs from Yankee stadium! I cannot go watch the Yanks without indulging in one. Or two.

  3. Call me un-American, but I don't like hot dogs. I WANT to like them, but every time I try them I wish I hadn't. Your picture of them looks delicious, though. Apparently I used to like them when I was part of the under-5 crowd, but not so much anymore.

  4. I'm telling you, HC, those Hebrew Nationals don't taste like other hot dogs... You could bring them to a grill-out, and if you don't like them you could pawn them off on someone else.

    I SWEAR I'm not being paid...

    When I was under five, I used to grab uncooked hot dogs out of the fridge and eat them like THAT. Yecchhh!!

  5. I'm trying to remember what brands I've tried. I know I've had Nathan's because my dad used to love those, and I think the ones my husband bought recently were Ballpark, but I can't be 100% sure since I obviously didn't pay much attention seeing as I wouldn't be eating them.

    I know he prefers Hebrew National so next time he's at the store I'll have him buy a pack and we'll give it a go. I think I'll need a lot of condiments, though! And some fries or onion rings to go alongside...mmm...now I'm hungry!

    OMG...uncooked out of the fridge! The things we ate as unknowing children...

  6. I am forlorn Connecticut Yankee now living in southeastern Virginia and I MISS my Hummel hotdogs! They just don't hot dogs right down here! Anyone know how I can get them sent to me? Appreciate the info.

  7. Why do you package 7 hot dogs, when I need to buy 8 rolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Where can I buy Hebrew National Hot Dogs in Montreal, Quebec?
    Thank You

  9. Hummel Brothers Frankfuters are the best .The arein the New haven Conn. Area.I now live in Texas and everytime I get a chanceto go to CT.I bring back a 10lbs box .I wish they would ship them .

  10. Doris,
    You can buy Hebrew National Hot Dogs at National grocery store on Sherbrooke in Westmount...(west of Victoria) They are great!

  11. really like these franks, however, I will love to see the sodium in them reduce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! felt like eating straight salt.

  12. My wife raved about Hebrew National hotdogs so I decided to try them this week. I couldn't even finish one. I agree with Carol ... too salty and it didn't taste like any hotdog I've ever had. From now on I'm sticking with Nathans and Ball Park.