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OK - I've been equal parts Hot Dog lover and fan of "Dog Culture" for years. Throughout my travels I've relished (pun intended) the opportunity to check-out a new dog joint, compare the snap and take in the local imagery. I've been keeping notes of regional dog styles, favorite haunts and compiling a dream menu for the dog counter in my imagination.  I figured I was a fairly highly functioning Dog Fan. Then I got schooled...It started by finding an article on the Serious Eats site highlighting The Year in Hot Dogs. That lead to the discovery of their "Dog of the Week" column and their annual Hot Dog Tours. 
Like so many foods, the Hot Dog is going through a serious evolutionary growth spurt. Old world institutions are being reinvented with a new and inspired artistic flair. The pragmatic cooking techniques and ingredient lists of our youth dropped out of school, traveled the world, smoked some peyote and then came home changed - for the better. At it's core, the essential dog is untouched, but beyond the casing all bets are off. 
I for one welcome the new guard - bring on the Cuban Torta De Salchicha (Two hot dogs, ham, bacon, jalapenos, fried egg, cheese, and avocado). Welcome the Colombian Perro Caliente (hot dogs covered in a delirious array of toppings including pineapple, bacon, ham, cheese, grilled onions, hard boiled eggs, crushed chips and a crisscross of fruity, bright pink and green mayonnaise based sauces). It's a new day - time to up the ante. 

image used without permission, but with massive respect for Hawk Krawll

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