Photo: AS Food studio/Shutterstock

The World Wide Wiener: Hot Dogs Around the World

by Tom Gates Mar 4, 2010
The whole world may turn a blind eye to what might be ground into a hot dog, but that doesn’t mean that everyone approaches presentation the same way. Matador gives you a run-down of how wieners make the world go ’round.
The Terimayo (Vancouver)

Japa Dog became a fast favorite with this year’s Olympic crowd, with lines routinely stretching around the block. Many have tried to infuse Japanese ingredients with dogs before but none have done it as successfully as this stand in downtown Vancouver.

Most people gravitate towards the Terimayo, a beef hot dog toped with seaweed, teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise and fried onion. Other Japa toppings include grated radish, green onion, okonomi sauce, fried cabbage and dried bonito flakes.

The Pylsur (Iceland)

This hot dog is dressed with pylsusinnep, an Icelandic version of mustard that’s brown and sweet and looks like an infant’s diarrhea. Most often you’ll also be able to sauce things up with remoulade, a condiment made of mayonnaise mixed with capers, mustard, herbs, anchovies, and gherkins. The meat itself has a unique taste, owing to a mixture of pork, lamb and beef.

The Spicy Redneck (New York) *

Crif Dogs in New York specializes in audacious hot dogs. The Spicy Redneck is firmly established as a worldwide classic. Bowels quiver at the mere mention of the bacon-wrapped dog, topped with chili, cole slaw and japapenos.

Choripan (Argentina)

There’s not much better than chorizo and crusty bread, topped with some of the best condiments in the world, like chimichurri. The beef or pork sausage is sliced down the middle, then surrounded by a hulking roll. Huge arguments have broken out about where to find the best in Argentina, with some of the suggested winners coming from roadside grills and vendors outside of football stadiums, rather than anything even close to posh.

Boerewors (South Africa)

A combination of minced beef and either pork or lamb, this swirly sausage is often served on a roll, making it a beautiful, hand-sized mess of a dog. Its somewhat unique taste comes from an interesting combination of spices like nutmeg, cloves and coriander seed.

The Completo (Chile)

I’d guess that the average Chilean has a thousand of these in their lifetime. “Completo” means what you think it does – complete with everything. The base condiment is an absurd amount of mayonnaise, topped usually with chopped avocado and tomato. From there, there’s a possibility of relish, mustard, ketchup and green chili pepper.

Remember that the red bottle of ketchup next to it isn’t ketchup – it’s hot sauce. Also remember that this is a relatively healthy meal in a country that serves healthy dishes like greasy chips covered in fried strips of steak, onion and scrambled egg.

The Cheese Baguette Hot Dog (France)

People get all drool-y when talking about French wieners, which are most often served on half of a baguette, then topped and grilled with gruyere cheese. Most often there will be an inclusion of Ketcepes, which is sort of a mushroom-based ketchup.

The Tunnbrodsrulle (Sweden)

Lola Akinmade (our editor at Goods and part-time Swedish resident) describes this as a “soft, thin bread (tunnobrod) rolled up funnel-style and filled with hotdog or sausage, mashed potatoes, onions, mustard, lettuce, and other dubious condiments.” That sounded good to me, or at least until I found that it also sometimes includes Raksallad, a minced shrimp/mayonnaise/paprika/dijon combination.

Currywurst (Germany)

Currywurst remains one of the most popular choices in a country full of sausage options. Sliced wurst is served with a slightly spicy, curry-infused ketchup, then eaten with tiny wooden forks. The bun is served on the side, which seems like a sacrilegious concept but works, mostly to goop up the remaining sauce. Pommes with heaps of mayo commonly accompany this wienie adventure.

The Norwegian (Norway)

Norway’s hot dogs are served on a potato lefse, then wrapped. Less show-offy about their condiments, the Norwegians play it simple with ketchup, mustard and relish. Sometimes dogs are also topped with brunost, a sweet, brown goat cheese.

The Cachorro Quente (Brazil)

Brazilians generally pack more onto a hot dog than seems physically possible, with notable ingredients like shoestring potatoes/sticks. Other toppings (most often depending on where you are) can include quail eggs, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, cheese and marinara sauce.

The result is a hot dog that looks like it’s been pooped on by a pterosaur, which sounds about right when placed next to Brazil’s other oozing food like the churrasco.

The Battered Hot Dog (New Zealand)

“American hot dogs” are available but most Kiwis are used to wieners coming battered in a wheat-based coating. Served with ketchup or tomato sauce, they greatly resemble corn dogs without a stick.

* The author has only chosen one American hot dog, for fear of a team of foodies flying over his apartment and dropping a nuke on the roof, screaming that their favorite was forgotten. He felt that picking only one was an important gesture but including more would leave him under severe attack. He realizes that there are many great variations of wieners in The United States and encourages you to tell us about them in the replies, which you will surely do with great gusto .

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