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Can We Please Solve the Hot Dog Problem?

Can We Please Solve the Hot Dog Problem?

Not every issue we face is a crisis or life-threatening problem.  And not everything can be solved by politics and legislation.  Some things continue to vex us for reasons beyond understanding.

In this case, I am referring to the American hot dog.

No, not whether we should be eating them or not.  I leave that national dialogue to the dieticians, the doctors, and the vegans – and I pay no attention to them.  I have been a frequent consumer of those meat-in-a-bun since I could eat solid food.  I recently calculated that my lifetime consumption of hot dogs exceeds 10,000.

I am not using this commentary to address the controversy over which city has the best hot dog – with the debate largely between the New York (Nathan’s)  crowd and the Chicago (Vienna) people.  There are a few others promoting their local versions (a white hot dog?), but they are not even in the majors in the wiener war.  For the record, the classic properly garnished Chicago Vienna all-beef dog (pictured above) wins hands down.

No, there are two issues that need to be resolved.  One is very old – and the other more recent.

The first is the longstanding issue of the number of hot dogs in a package (6) and the number of buns in a package (8).  That meant you have to purchase two packages of dogs with each package of buns.  Of course, then you have four more dogs than buns.

I recently purchased a package with six buns only to discover that the folks at Oscar Mayer have dropped their hot dogs per package to four.  That leaves two more buns and dogs.  

As if the bun-to-dog ratios were not bad enough, there is now a more recent issue with the size.  The dogs have shrunk.  When you prep your hot dog, there is usually an empty bun at both ends.  Why can’t the bakers and the hot dog makers talk to each other?

Now I find on the shelf something they call “bun length” dogs.  These are longer and fill the bun better.  However, they look a lot like the regular dogs of yore.  So now we pay extra to get a dog that fits the bun.

And speaking of cost.  Hot dogs – by net weight – are starting to approach the cost of a T-bone steak.

None of this has reduced my consumption of Chicago-style hot dogs – and never will.  I just thought I should share the challenges we hot dog connoisseurs face in the pursuit of our passion.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.