I had my first Italian hot dog the other night, and I just have one question to ask: How drunk was the person who came up with THAT idea?
I can almost hear the tipsy thought process behind it:
First, let’s take a giant piece of bread that would actually be better suited for an extra-large gyro than a hot dog or sausage of any kind.
Then we’ll add a teeny, tiny, withered hot dog ALL the way down in the bottom of the roll—the smaller, the better.
If possible, the wiener should look as wrinkled and decrepit as one of those ancient movie-theater hot dogs that have been on the rotating spit for decades. And be sure it doesn’t taste any better than it looks—that’s critical!
Add just a hint of mustard—you don’t want to overwhelm anybody with, you know, flavor. Make sure the mustard coats the hot dog JUST enough so it slides around the roll, preventing the eater from biting it, but not enough so it actually tastes good.
Next, let’s slop on a couple of slimy pieces of onion and a little bit of almost-raw green pepper. And again, be sure not to season anything. Flavor is NOT your friend.
Finally, let’s top the whole thing off with something REALLY tasty: half a pound of greasy, undercooked, sliced potatoes. Don’t you DARE add any salt or pepper! They MUST be flavored solely by old fryer grease. Yup, potatoes—just the thing you want to bite into through a thick piece of bread. Yum.
I can’t imagine that the Italian hot dog could have been developed in any other way. It’s simply not a rational set of ingredients to put together I’m still fighting the heartburn, even now, the next morning.
What sober person would come up with or eat such a thing? The answer is no sober person would.
It occurs to me now that maybe drinking is the key: Maybe you can only enjoy an Italian hot dog if you, too, are as hammered as the person who created it.
I guess that’s something to think about the next time my dad suggests Italian hot dogs for dinner. . . .