Tag Archives: hot dogs

What processed food product most exemplifies the hideousness of mass food culture?

I read a blog post recently (hat tip @infinitedrifter) that used a particular product to illustrate just how mentally and physically lazy American eaters can be. While staying at an El Paso hotel, the blogger, Amanda Marcotte, encountered a shocking product among the offerings at the dreaded “continental breakfast:” waffles with syrup already baked into them.

Smucker's Snack'n Waffles

Smucker's Snack'n Waffles

There is something so hilarious about products like these. It’s like these companies identify problems that don’t exist in order to sell you their solutions to them. Is the application of syrup really that infuriating?

It’s like those commercials for coffee filters that come with already-ground coffee inside them. The video inevitably shows some guy straining with all his might to separate a single coffee filter from the stack.

And how about individually wrapped hot dogs? They come already inside the bun, just pop them in the microwave. It cooks in 35 seconds.

Ocsar Mayer Fast Franks

Ocsar Mayer Fast Franks


But who knows – maybe handling coffee filters and cooking hot dogs are huge societal drains? I’d love to hear more examples of products that solve nonexistent problems. I made a list of these years ago but have long since lost track of it.

Don’t trifle with the Chicago Dog

Lenexa’s Pizza Man is a supremely unassuming little joint near Pflumm and 103rd that dishes up Chicago-style foods better than anyone else in town. Apart from serviceable offerings like meatball sandwiches, reubens and thin-crust Chicago pizza, Pizza Man serves a very authentic Italian Beef and Chicago-style hot dog which are virtually indistinguishable from those purveyed in the Windy City.

I visit Pizza Man once a month or so, and typically rotate between the dog and the Italian Beef. Imagine my surprise today when a Chicago-style hot dog in a foil wrapper was removed from a heat lamp behind the counter and put on a styrofoam plate seconds after ordering it.

Sad Chicago Dog

Needless to say, it was a pretty sad state of affairs. The bun was soggy and flaccid and the appearance was abysmal. A freshly compiled hot dog with recently applied toppings and condiments is the least we can ask for. We love Pizza Man right? Can we bring back the made-to-order dogs pretty please?