Until I began travelling I never knew there are different types of hot dog. I thought they were all the same. They’re not. What constitutes a “hot dog” can be very different from one country to the next.
Because I grew up in Yorkshire I thought all hot dogs were similar to British hot dogs and the hot dogs I saw in American movies, which looked pretty much the same. I was very wrong about that.
British Hot Dogs
In the UK a hot dog is served in a long white bread bun. The bun is always soft and it’s never toasted. At least that’s always been my experience and I’ve eaten a lot of British hot dogs
The sausage inside the bun is something along the lines of a German frankfurter.
When you buy a hot dog in Britain you get a few fried onions with it. These are normally placed in the slit of the bun before the sausage goes in.
As for the sauce, you usually have the option of tomato ketchup, mustard, or both.
British hot dogs are not particularly filling. I see them as being more of a snack than a meal and it’s easy for me to eat several at once.
This is the kind of hot dog I grew up with, but when I went to live in the Netherlands I discovered Dutch hot dogs can be a tiny bit different to the ones sold in the UK.
Dutch Hot Dogs
The difference between Dutch hot dogs and the British version is not really that great. It’s only really a matter of how they are served.
The buns are soft and the sausages are frankfurters. However, the first time I ate a Dutch hot dog I was surprised to see it was served with uitjes.
Uitjes is the Dutch name for finely diced raw onion. It’s very popular in the Netherlands. Dutch people add uitjes to raw fish, use it to make a frikandel speciaal, and even serve them with chips.
I had three sauce options: ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. Dutch people also love mayonnaise, and who can blame them? Dutch mayonnaise is very good and, in my opinion, it may be the best mayonnaise in the world.
A friend in Eindhoven told me it’s also quite common to have sauerkraut in Dutch hot dogs.
Ukrainian Hot Dogs
The first time I ate a Ukrainian hot dog was in Odessa and it was very different to the types I’d had before. There was no bun! It was served enclosed in a wrap and the sausage had a lot of company because there were chips and salad in there as well. There was some sauce too. I cannot remember what kind, but I think it was white.
The idea of a wrap instead of a bun threw me as I stood looking at the stick of food in my hand. This was a culinary culture shock. However, I enjoyed my first Ukrainian hot dog. I even ate a few more, though not on the same day. The Ukrainian version is very filling. Eat one and it can easily be your meal.
Albanian Hot Dogs
Hot dogs in Albania are different again. The sausage is inside a bun that’s more akin to an Italian panini than a British hot dog bun and it’s not soft. When you get handed your dog the bun is nice and warm and crisp because it’s freshly toasted.
The sausage is very similar to a frankfurter but is a little larger. The person who prepares the hot dog generally splits the sausage first, cooks it, and then places it inside the bun. Again, the sausage is accompanied by chips and salad. There’s normally a yoghurt dressing in there too.
Personally, I like the yoghurt dressing and don’t need anything extra, but there’s the option of adding mustard and ketchup as well.
A Short Disclaimer
I don’t claim to be an expert on hot dogs. Nor am I saying that all hot dogs in a particular country are prepared and presented in the same way. This blog post is based on my own experience with hot dogs in the countries I’ve visited so far.
If you think I’ve got something wrong or disagree with anything I’ve written, please feel free to let me know via the comments section below. If you’ve encountered other forms of hot dog, I’d be interested to know about that too. I’m curious to learn how many different types of hot dog there are.
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