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Sticks and Stones

September 1, 2015

You can learn a lot by reading blogs. It’s one reason I try to maintain the blogroll you’ll see over on the far right side of the page. Of course, it’s probably at the waaay bottom of the page if you’re reading this on a phone. And God knows where it may be if you’re reading the FLB on a tablet.

Anyhow, you should know that I just spent some time updating the blogroll. Holy cow there were some long abandoned blogs mucking up the works. Sorry about that. I try to never delete a blog once I put it up here. Instead, should the writer lose momentum, I simply file the blog away in the X-Files: Blogs on Hiatus section.

It’s sad to see the Ridiculous Food Society in the X-Files. And it’s even sadder still that once again it has been locked down to invited guests only.

But back to things you can learn from blogs. Recently, I learned that chef Dominic Colose took his family to the Washington County Fair by reading his blog, chefsday. It came in the form of a snippet. Here it is, verbatim:

Washington County Fair tomorrow. Tractors and animals for Tate, Rides for Stella. No corn dogs, they’re nasty.

Those sound like fightin’ words.

Not too long ago, there was a talk thread on Yelp that asked about our guilty food pleasures. The only one that popped into my mind were those Buffalo chicken pretzels I first discovered with ADS down in DC.

What I failed to consider was the corn dog.

Because here’s the thing. I actually love corn dogs. And there’s no shame or guilt in it. During those early adult years, post college when I was living with ADS and Raf, we would keep a huge box of frozen corn dogs around just for snacks. Not because we were too poor for real food, but because food on sticks is awesome.

Thai satay is awesome
Japanese yakitori is awesome
Afghan kabobs are awesome
Chinese candied hawthorne berries are awesome
American deep fried cheese on a stick is awesome too

If you haven’t had the last one, you’re not alone. Take a large rectangular prism of american cheese. Put it on a stick. Batter it in cornmeal. Deep fry it. And you’re done. It’s just like a corn dog, except with molten liquid gold inside.

But back to corn dogs. You’ve got a smokey wiener wrapped in a sweet and tender corn batter that’s been deep fried to a golden brown. The outside should be just crip, but most of the corn breading should be tender and soft. I love the interplay of flavors.

There’s just one problem. Corn dogs scream for ketchup. Mustard clashes with the corn. But this skewered snack benefits from additional acidity. After all, it’s a fatty tube steak surrounded by fat-soaked cornmeal.

I guess that’s not a problem in and of itself. It only becomes a problem if you, like me, have been raised to look askance at those who would even dream of putting ketchup on a hot dog. Believe it or not, but I’m one of those people. Hot dogs go with mustard. Sometimes, with chili sauce and onion. I love a good wiener with sauerkraut and mustard. But ketchup? Heavens no.

So everytime I get a corn dog, I succumb to the shame of dipping it into ketchup. And I go against everything I know to be true, and good, and right.

Most recently this happened last week at Sonic. The chain was having 50-cent corn dog day, and I just couldn’t resist their siren song. That will hold me for the next few years, so that’s a relief. And now I can report that I’ve been into the local Sonic. It’s safe to say the management is having some speed of service issues. I don’t know exactly what the problem is, but everyone who is sitting around waiting for food looks like they are in agony.

Really, I’m sure it’s just deep dismay at the wait for fast food. Having never been a Sonic for over 20 years, I have no idea if this is normative for the chain or not. Thanks to reading the Yelp reviews, I was prepared for a wait, so it was no matter to me. I was just dismayed at how stingy the back of house was with Sonic’s famous pellet ice. But I’ll be back. Once I lose 10 pounds there are a few milkshakes that are calling my name.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Dominic Colose permalink
    September 1, 2015 9:15 am

    There are very few things that I don’t like, and corn dogs are one of them. There’s no reason I suppose, just a combination that doesn’t please me. I love hot dogs, and I like cornbread. Put them together and yuk. That’s a me thing, so go ahead and enjoy.

    • September 1, 2015 9:23 am

      I love blueberries. I love bagels. But I think blueberry bagels should be categorized as a hate crime. Glad you made it through track season. And thank you for continuing to inspire me with ridiculous topics for the blog.

  2. Jack C. permalink
    September 1, 2015 9:16 am

    I love corndogs. And I can tell you that the long waits at the Latham Sonic are NOT standard for Sonics more generally. No idea why they take so long. Is the kitchen too small? Do they have too many customers (car bays + drive thru + indoor = critical mass)?

    As for the mustard/ketchup divide, I like to go a bit insane. For corndogs, I mix about a 2:1 ketchup:mustard ratio. Ketchup is just too sweet for it (the corn breading is already sweet), but mustard is too harsh.

  3. September 1, 2015 12:18 pm

    Mustard. Yellow mustard. Never ketchup. Yuck.

  4. September 1, 2015 1:21 pm

    I use a ton – a TON – of spicy mustard on corn dogs. Like you, I feel ketchup on hot dogs is just wrong, and I don’t make an exception for corn dogs.

  5. Klab permalink
    September 1, 2015 3:15 pm

    I ~lOvE~ corn dogs. However I only eat them, as well as grilled sausages with peppers and onions, at fairs and festivals. There’s something in the air, or maybe it’s just the dirty griddles and fryers, that make them taste so good!
    On a side note, if you’re ever tempted to buy Trader Joe’s frozen corn dogs-don’t. Even though they are organic and nitrate-free and sound like a reasonable option for junk food, they are not. They are so incredibly sugar-sweet that they actually taste like candy.

  6. September 2, 2015 9:42 pm

    When I was in Chicago back in May, it finally clicked with me why putting ketchup on a hot dog is a sin. Up until that point I didn’t get why people make a fuss about it. That, and I fell in love with Chicago style dogs.

  7. Enough already! permalink
    September 3, 2015 10:16 pm

    LOVE CORN DOGS but love them WITH MUSTARD! To me the sweet corn batter between the mustard and the hot dog adds up to a sublime taste combination. (I usually buy TJ turkey corn dogs.).

    Now can we talk about frito pie?

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