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Avast Ye Scurvy Dogs

September 19, 2012

Arr, mateys.

Got a whale of a tale to tell you lad, a whale of a tale or two. ‘Bout the flappin’ fish and the girls I loved, on nights like this with the moon above. A whale of a tale and it’s all true, I swear by my tattoo.

That last bit is the chorus to the one sea shanty I know. I think it came from some deep track of a Disney LP. ADS and I were going to mesmerize tourists at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco with our rhyming acumen, by making up verses of that song based on a little bit of personal information.

But it turns out mastering that scheme was harder than finding a job in advertising.

If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day! And I may have gotten all the pirate out of me. Yet I wanted to try and tie into the theme of the day, especially since there is such real-life high drama on the seas this week. Apparently both in Asia and the Middle East. Good times. The closest food-related thing I could think of that wasn’t about bumbo or rum had to do with scurvy dogs.

Relax. It’s hot dogs. And more specifically, it’s about hot dog buns. Because “The Great Organic Original Beef Hot Dog” from Applegate is now pretty easy to find.

I know that Mr. Dave has been unthrilled with them. But they are made with grass-fed beef. The cows have never been administered antibiotics, added growth hormones or animal by-products. Plus the beef is raised on sustainable family farms in a stress-free environment that promotes natural behavior and socialization.

At least that’s what the package says. And I’m glad that the nitrates and nitrites come from sea salt and celery powder. Yes, I know they are chemically the identical substances. You can call me crazy, but it makes me feel better to know they are derived from natural substances.

It’s the buns that have caused me no small amount of distress.

Despite the backlash against high fructose corn syrup over the past few years, it’s still surprisingly difficult to find bread made without this miracle of modern science. Which isn’t to say it’s impossible. Subway just recently reformulated its bread to remove the HFCS (although it remains on the menu in other places). Despite my best efforts the fussy little children continue to eat sandwiches on squishy 100% whole wheat bread from Arnold, which has a shit-ton of ingredients (none of which is HFCS).

So here’s a bakery that I now trust. And they have a line of products, which I think most people would assume maintain a similar standard of integrity. Except they don’t. Because the Arnold hot dog buns are made with HFCS.

In fact, I spent probably the better part of a half hour scouring the ingredient labels at Shop Rite looking for buns to go with my organic Applegate hot dogs, to find one that was made without HFCS. But I was denied.

Apparently some supermarkets in the region carry the Barowsky’s organic hot dog buns. And those would have been fine. Maybe I’ve been missing them all of these years, but I can’t recall ever seeing them. And the torpedo rolls from local Italian bakeries may not use HFCS, but their size and girth makes them ill equipped for the job.

Let’s go back to that sea shanty for a moment. Here’s the rhyme scheme, and a sample verse.

A: There was Miss Alexa
B: Met her on the coast of Charlotte
C: People told me
B: That she was a harlot.
D: Then one day I found her in my bed.
[common line] Blow me down and pick me up!
D: She paid for me instead!

So I think ADS would be proud of this one;

A: There was The Profussor.
B: He had a mighty problem.
C: He liked hot dogs.
B: But on the bottom,
D: He was missin’ a roll without the lows.
[common line] Blow me down and pick me up!
D: They were at Trader Joe’s!

What I particularly enjoy about today’s post is that Trader Joe’s also has a nautical theme. But yes! Trader Joe’s was indeed the answer to all my problems. Because they sell packs of 100% stone ground whole wheat hot dog buns. The sweetness of the bread comes from barley malt, and even the corn oil used is expeller pressed. Have I mentioned I love this place recently?

Because not only do they have these buns which are free from preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and a bunch of other nasties. But hey also have those Applegate organic hot dogs. And they are cheaper at Trader Joe’s than anyplace else I’ve ever seen, by a significant margin. We’re talking dollars here.

The money you save can go toward flagons of ale. Drink up me hearties, yo ho.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 19, 2012 9:29 am

    I’m not sure how they compare ethically/sustainable, but I thought the TJ’s organic dogs were better than Applegate’s.

  2. Rebecca permalink
    September 19, 2012 9:43 am

    the *only* hot dogs I eat are Hoffmans from Syracuse. The fam likes the Snappy Grillers but I prefer the “red” ones. Neither kind tastes…hot doggy.

  3. Eric Scheirer Stott permalink
    September 19, 2012 10:03 am

    Arrrrrrrrr……….we be sailing for booty on saturday Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  4. September 19, 2012 10:06 am

    Coleman Farms (organic) are better than Applegate (snappier) but much harder to find.

  5. September 19, 2012 10:33 am

    FYI: the Price Chopper in Slingerlands has the Barowsky Hot Dog rolls on a pretty regular basis.

    We are Nathan’s hot dog eaters around these parts…. when we eat them.. which isn’t often so I conceed they aren’t organic but they are a treat occassionally.

    That being said, one of these days.. soonish, I’m totally going to try to make my own.

  6. September 19, 2012 8:10 pm

    FYI: That’s Kirk Douglas singing in Disney’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

  7. September 20, 2012 10:19 am

    The No. 1 reason I like Trader Joe’s is their bread — a whole bunch of different varieties, none of them with HFCS.

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