Friday, May 14, 2010
Snappy Grillers are Back! Also, Mr. Dave Tries an Out of State Hot Dog Sauce
I love the beginning of summer. You begin to see all of the traditional "cookout" foods appearing in the grocery stores again after the long winter (like the Salt Potatoes I posted about yesterday).
I was excited to spy some Hofmann's Snappy Grillers at the local P-Chops yesterday. Snappy Grillers hail from Syracuse and are a cousin of the slightly more famous Rochester White Hots (Zwiegel's are the best). Both are veal/pork sausages with a characteristic mellow flavor and white hue. This style of hot dog is probably directly derived from the German Weisswurst, indicative of the strong German influence in Central/Western New York. Rolf's Pork Store in Albany does another variation known as Whitewurst, which is a little chubbier than the others.
Out of the pantheon of hot dog sausages that I feel very strongly about, whitewurst/snappy grillers/white hots are highly regarded, probably only being surpassed by our beloved local dinky dogs. The best way to serve the Snappy Grillers is grilled up till brown and crisped and than put on a steamed bun with a little good mustard. Doesn't get much better than that.
Now, it is usually foreign to me to sully as beautiful a sausage as a Snappy Griller with a condiment of an unknown provenance, but curiosity got the better of me. I keep seeing the Tallarico brand "Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce" at the grocery store between the Sabrett's onions in sauce and the Hot Dog Charlie's meat sauce (both venerable and time tested hot dog accompaniments). Initially, two things made me suspicious of this product. One, the stuff is from Pennsylvania and two, it says "great for tacos" on the label. How a hot dog sauce can double as a taco condiment is beyond me, but I will try anything once.
It was only after I got home that I read the ingredients and instructions. I was a little dismayed that the heating instructions included chopping up an onion and a pepper and cooking it in the sauce for 10 minutes. Onions (I digress, raw and maybe even grilled onions are acceptable in certain applications) and peppers, in my mind, have no place on a hot dog. Another upsetting fact about the Tallarico's product is that, alas, it is tomato based. I generally don't like anything tomato based touching my dogs (ketchup, I am looking at you). As loath as I was to desecrate a sublime sausage like the Snappy Griller, I threw caution to the wind and dumped a couple tablespoons of the stuff (heated) on one.
I just don't get this style of sauce, it tastes like slightly spicy "spaghetti" sauce. I would rather eat this on pasta than on a hot dog. With the onions and peppers thrown in maybe this would be good on a "sausage and peppers" type sandwich (utilizing hot Italian sausage), but I don't like it on the Snappy Griller and I don't think it would be any better on a Frankfurter. If you are going to do hot dog "chili" buy it from Charlie's, Gus', or Famous'. Alternately, do your own take on my Capital Region style hot dog chili recipe.