Image: Wayne Thiebaud
A few shoppers in Melbourne recently got to enjoy a taste of the world’s most expensive hot dog. It was not part of any five-star hotel gimmick, or some other fancy F&B marketing stunt, but from a groomed food truck in a parking lot. At $100, the hot dog got plenty of attention during the Food and Wine Show held in the Australian city this year. Maille Truffle Haute Dog was one of three items on the menu board which also featured a Maille Haute Dog for $10 and a Maille Chablis Haute Dog for $25. This haute business was the idea of premium French mustard makers, Maille, which is incidentally the ingredient that has put such a lofty price tag to this humble snack.
The Haute Dog was a grass-fed sausage in a bun, with a strip of French-made Chablis white wine and black Perigord truffle mustard. The reason it costs so much is because these truffles come specially-cultivated from France, where it can only be picked five months a year, from October to March. People who bought one, got a complimentary 100ml ceramic jar of the special mustard too. The mustard has two Australian boutique stores in Mt Eliza in Victoria and Mosman in New South Wales as well as stores in New York, London and Paris. Well, at least this is something that won’t make us short of breath, like the $7,000 burger, see?
But, if you want to know which hot dogs are the best, not necessarily the most expensive, according to Adam Lapetina, a writer of the Thrillist Magazine, America has its fair share of variations on the hot dog. From coneys to Fenway franks to Chicago-style, it may appear that this favorite snack of many a baseball-fueled evening has seen every possible permutation. But there’s still an entire world to consider!
In their research, they not only discovered that there are other countries besides America, but that they’re producing their own next-level dogs for their citizenry. Prepare to be wowed, dawg.
1. Quebec – Steamies
These top-loaded, bunned babies are served in hot dog joints and restaurants all over Montreal and the surrounding areas, and they’re characterized by the fact that they’re usually “steamé” — or steamed — instead of being toasted or grilled. The typical condiments are mustard, onions, and fresh coleslaw. There is a faction of Quebecois who are pro-relish as well, but they can never quite agree upon it unanimously.
2. Chile – Completo
As you know “Completo” is Spanish for “complete”, meaning this sucker’s topped with a lot of condiments. Chileans usually go for any permutation of the following: a boatload of mayo, chili, green sauce, sauerkraut, avocado, tomato, and cheese. There are other types of completos too, such as Italiano (tomato, avocado, mayo), Dinámico (a mix of the above ingredients), or A lo Pobre (fried onion, French fries, fried egg).
3. Argentina – Panchuker
Practically a Latin cousin of the corn dog, the panchuker is a popular street food that consists of baked sausage covered in a waffle-like batter before being fried in lard or vegetable oil. They’re so popular that specific stoves called “panchukeras” are specifically devoted to making them, and them only.
4. Denmark – Danish hot dog
Popular pretty much all over Scandinavia, in addition to its native Denmark, the Danish hot dog is a special (usually) dyed-red type of sausage (called a rød pølse) that’s grilled and topped with fresh and fried onions, Danish mustard, remoulade, and cucumber slices. They’re hawked primarily from hot dog stands called pølsevogns, or “hot dog wagons”, aka your Volvo’s nickname during your celibate high school years.
5. Czech Republic – Párek v rohlíku
The Czech Republic’s version of our national favorite is, overall, pretty similar to what you’d get on any street corner in New York — except for the fact that, instead of the typical American bun, this sausage is stuffed into a roll that’s had its top cut off. What results is an awkward-looking cylindrical roll with a hot dog popping out. It’s probably delicious, though.
6. Mexico – Sonoran hot dog
The origins of this supposedly Mexican hot dog style are a bit dubious, but it was named after the state of Sonora in the North of the country (even though it’s most heavily consumed by ASU students after midnight). The style is typified by wrapping the hot dog in mesquite bacon, slapping it inside a hollowed-out roll, and topping it with requisite burrito stuff: beans, onion, salsa, sour cream or mayo, and mustard.
7. Colombia – Perros calientes
Literally meaning “hot canines” — er, “dogs” — perros calientes are interestingly topped hot dogs originating in Colombia. Most often you’ll see them with ketchup, mustard, golf sauce (a South American favorite that, most frequently, combines ketchup and mayo, like Utah’s fry sauce), cheese, mayo, pineapple sauce, and crumbled potato chips, adding some sweet and savory components that take this dog to the next level.
8. Sweden – Tunnbrödsrulle
Meaning “thin bread rolled”, Sweden’s tunnbrödsrulle is made out of “tunsbröd”, a type of soft flatbread. That flatbread is then wrapped around a hot dog and some rich, creamy mashed potatoes. Many Swedes also add the traditional American condiments as well, such as ketchup, mustard, and relish. We probably could’ve made an Ikea joke a sentence earlier, but it’s too late now.
9. Thailand – Khanom Tokiao
Weirdly enough, the name of this Thai hot dog dish means “Tokyo cake” — which makes slightly more sense once you know that it’s made out of a Thai-style crepe wrapped around a hot dog and sweet chili sauce.
10. Norway – Lefse dog
Lefse is a type of soft Norwegian flatbread, which, in the case of their lefse dog (“pølse med lompe”), is made out of a dough enriched with potato. The hot dog goes in the center and can be accented with fried & raw onions, ketchup, mustard, bacon, cheese, and/or shrimp salad, for a completely new take on surf & turf.
11. South Africa – Boerewors
The sausage in South Africa’s boerewors (meaning “farmer sausage”) is a bit different than the hot dogs we’re used to stateside — it’s essentially minced beef with spices like pepper, nutmeg, coriander, and cloves mixed in. It’s usually enjoyed with chutney, mustard, and/or tomato relish on top.
12. United Kingdom – Saveloy
Available at chip shops all over Britain (but especially in the Southern reaches), the saveloy is a highly seasoned variety of pork sausage sometimes served on top of chips, as they refuse to call them Freedom Fries. They’re also sometimes deep-fried in batter or served with pease pudding (a pudding of various boiled legumes, often cooked with ham) and other archetypical British sides.
13. Australia — Dagwood dog
Australia’s Dagwood dogs are just corn dogs.
Info via thrillist.com & luxurylaunches.com