Pass the mustard! The spicy topping remains the favorite hot dog topping in the USA. Did we really need an annual survey by a fast food chain to tell us that? Apparently so. For the fourth straight year, mustard tops the topping list, according to the five-year-old weiner-centric chain JJ’s Red Hots, made famous on the foodie TV show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on Food Network.
What are the other top toppings nationally?
The normal suspects, chili, cheese, onions and relish rounded out the top five for the fourth consecutive year. Ketchup is listed at #8.
JJ’s has featured more than 300 toppings on its Hot Dogs since opening in 2012, but mustard is the undisputed king. Here’s the national list, in order of preference in the past year, which does not take into account regional preferences.
Of course, there are regional preferences.
At Nathan’s Famous, probably the most famous hot dog emporium in the world, which opened first in world famous Coney Island, the standard is spicy mustard and sauerkraut, on a grilled weiner. Nathans’s should know. It has been serving hot dogs since 1916, 95 years longer than JJ’s founder Jonathan Luther. Although Nathan’s does serve variations on the theme, including with chili, and serves up recipes for hot dog toppings that include mac and cheese.
In Chicago, the standard hot dog topping is yellow mustard, chopped white onions, bright green sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers and a dash of celery salt, on a steamed weiner. The complete assembly of a Chicago hot dog is said to be “dragged through the garden” due to the many toppings.
What’s your favorite? Grilled or steamed? Mustard and what else?
photos courtesy JJ’s, Nathan’s Famous and Wikipedia