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Chicago Hot Dog

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A Chicago hot dog which is also known locally as a Chicago Dog, is a steamed or water-simmered all-beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun. This dish originated in Chicago, Illinois. The hot dog is topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish (often a dyed neon-green variety, sometimes called piccalilli), a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt. The complete assembly of a Chicago hot dog is said to be "dragged through the garden", a piece of restaurant jargon which signifies a hamburger or hotdog with many accompaniments.


Many sources attribute the distinctive collection of toppings on a Chicago-style wiener to historic Maxwell Street and the "Depression Sandwich" reportedly originated by 'Fluky's' in 1929. Vienna Beef frankfurters, the most common brand served today, were first sold at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Both the founders of Vienna Beef and the proprietors of Fluky's were Jews, which accounts for the wieners' pork-free, kosher-style character.


Chicago hot dogs are cooked in hot water or steamed before adding the toppings. A much less common Chicago style is grilled and referred to as a "chardog." Another variant, as served at Gene and Jude's, is the so-called "minimalist" style, which omits tomatoes, pickles and celery salt and adds a handful of fresh-cut french fries packed atop the hot dog. The typical hot dog weighs 1/8 of a pound or 2 ounces (57 g) and the most traditional type features a natural casing, providing a distinctive "snap" when bitten. The buns are a high-gluten variety made to hold up to steam warming.

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