If you’re an American, there’s a good chance you’ve been eating hot dogs for most of your life. They’re not good for you, but they’re about as American as apple pie – and honestly, I don’t know how you really enjoy a baseball game without one!
So it would probably surprise you to know that, according to the experts at the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, you’ve been eating your hot dogs all wrong for years.
Here are the five rules of hot dog etiquette:
#1. How to Plate Your Hot Dog
You should use only plain or sesame seed buns, as “sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.”
#2. How to Dress Your Hot Dog
Wet condiments like mustard or chili go first, followed by chunky ingredients such as onions or sauerkraut. Cheese should go next, and finally your spices like pepper or celery salt.
I’m sorry to be the one to inform you that, according to the council, no person over the age of 18 should top their hot dog with ketchup (sorry to the 50% of Americans who do so – you’ve shocked council president Janet Riley).
“Ketchup’s popularly was the big surprise, considering our etiquette rules – and ketchup’s notable absence from regional hot dog favorites like the Chicago Dog and the New York Dog.”
#3. How to Serve Your Hot Dog
Low-maintenance dishes are best, like paper plates or your every day dishes.
Using china is a faux pas, as is using cocktail forks instead of (colored) toothpicks in the cocktail varieties.
#4. How to Eat Your Hot Dog
No need for a fork and knife (obviously), and it should never take more than 4-5 bites to each the entire dog – and leaving any leftover bun on your plate is a no-no.
Your beverage of choice shouldn’t outshine the food, either, so opt for beer, soda, lemonade, or iced tea.
#5. How to Clean Up Your Hot Dog Meal
You’ll want to use only paper napkins to wipe your face and any spills – but make sure to lick your fingers clean!
Things cloth napkins and thank-you notes “would not be in keeping with the unpretentious nature of hot dogs.”
I am gobsmacked, you guys! Who knew there were rules and that we were breaking them?!
How are you feeling about all of this? If you need a support group (I kind of do), let’s do it in the comments.