Monday, October 17, 2005

Hot Dog Horror

We had a staff barbecue at work on Friday, with the food catered by some fine local establishment. There were ribs, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, salads, and desserts.

Everything was fine, except the one food that just doesn't travel well -- hot dogs. It's like there's an expiration date on them as soon as they're cooked. One brand used to have the slogan "they plump when you cook'em." All hot dog brands should have the slogan "they shrivel up if you don't eat'em within five minutes of cooking."

I don't blame the caterer. It's the hot dogs themselves. You can buy one at the ballpark, where they wrap it up in a aluminum foil, and by the time you've made it over to the condiments counter to add your mustard, the bun is already sticking to the dog, and the meat already looks like Abe Vigoda's neck. So you can imagine the effect of trying to cook them in one venue and then transport them across town. Time is not on the side of the lowly frankfurter.

While I'm bitching about food, why can't I find microwave popcorn without butter? There used to be two brands (Pop Secret and SmartPop, by Orville Redenbacher) that made a 94%-fat-free all-natural popcorn without that buttery yuck, but neither is on the store shelves anymore. Oh, you can still find them with butter, but not without. All they stock now is box after box of popcorn coated with that added industrial waste, which tastes about as much like butter as those wrinkled meat tubes taste like a good hot dog.