December 10, 2003 - The mustard is ON the hot dog!
The dedicated staff of edhat was in Carp yesterday, and it was a spectacular day! The weather was nice, and the hot dogs at the legendary Surf Dog were selling like hot cakes. When the American flag was hoisted above the stand at noon, the line was already 6 people long. After receiving their hot dogs combined with sour kraut, chili, or just a philosophical remark, the patrons migrated to the back of the cart to doctor their dogs. That is when the dedicated staff went to work. The staff carefully monitored what condiments Surf Dog customers put on their pups ... ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, or a combination thereof.
It looked like many of the Surf Dog patrons were card carrying members of the NHDSC (the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council) as most followed the recommended protocol of "dressing the dog, not the bun.” And after the dog was dressed, customers remained standing (there is only one little bench to sit on), talking to each other as they ate their dogs.
As any Surf Dog regular knows, it is not just the tasty dogs, ample condiments, and awesome scenery that makes people come back for another dog another day. It is the friendly laid back banter of the owner and his flock of loyal friends. Yesterday he was quoting Satchel Paige (The trick to staying young is "Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you"), and he was cheering people up by providing comparative weather reports from the cold northeast. Yes, we are all lucky to live in Santa Barbara, but there is only one person who is lucky enough to sell hot dogs on a beautiful day at the Carpinteria bluffs.
As expected, mustard was the top condiment - 76% of all hot dogs received it. The next biggest add-on was onions (40%), followed by relish (28%), and finally ketchup (24%). 12% of the dogs left the premises without any additions. No surprise with the low ketchup count. Any connoisseur knows that putting ketchup on a hot dog is like putting smoked chicken in a Paella (did you hear that Luis?). The NHDSC clearly states on its web site (www.hot-dog.org) that ketchup is forbidden after a person reaches the age of 18 (photo id not required).
As far as combinations of condiments were concerned (that was the question for the daily contest you know), mustard & onions was the top dog being deployed by 20% of the hot dog customers. However, the contest did not allow for an onion answer. Taking onions out of the equation provided a clear winner to our contest. Only Edda Hat picked mustard-only (36%) as the eater’s choice. She will win the free movie tickets. Maybe she’ll go see Hot Dog, The Movie.
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