Bacon-wrapped hot dogs now join the 15-pound "Belly Buster" hamburger, super-sugary snacks and deep-fried butter. But the New York Daily News
reports that the introduction of this latest weight-inducing concoction is not without its critics. First there are consumers who won't go near it with a ten-foot pole because of its high calorie and cholesterol count, not to mention all its nasty ingredients. But how about all those hot dog vendors that line every city street in America and beyond. What will happen to them? They sell hot dogs, but law forbids them from making bacon on their carts, so can they really compete?
The San Antonio Business Journal quotes Comedian Jim Gaffigan, who says,
"There are few things in life better than bacon. It’s wrapped around other foods to make them better. Bits of bacon are like the fairy dust of the food community. Throw it onto a salad and it becomes an entree."
The Newport Beach, Calif.-based hot dog chain, Wienerschnitzel is celebrating its 50th anniversary by offering its bacon-wrapped hot dogs in three different varieties. There's the original bacon-wrapped hot dog; the bacon-wrapped dog with chili; and the bacon-wrapped street dog, featuring grilled onions, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.
Tom Amberger, vice-president of marketing for Wienershnitzel says this wasn't a snap decision, it was one the company let marinate for a long time.
“We’ve kept our bacon-wrapped hot dogs under the radar for some time now, testing and perfecting them to make sure they exceed both our high quality and taste specifications. It’s no secret that bacon is a popular addition to just about any food. We’re excited to offer these new menu items as part of our 50th anniversary celebration, introducing our fans to a great new flavor combination.”
But the LA Weekly
reports that hot-dog vendors are not too pleased with this new offering to hit supermarkets. Elizabeth Palacios, jailed by LA Police for grilling, is now baconless and losing business. She says customers peer into her meat bin, and when they see no bacon, they move on. Palacios gives this response,
"No bacon. They don't let me."
The city of Los Angeles has a romantic notion of the bacon-wrapped dog. It may be because it's a little bit Mexican. You can smell one from blocks away. The grilled bacon, twirled around a wiener, is topped with grilled onions and a mountains of diced tomatoes, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. And one whole grilled green poblano chile crowns the whole thing off.
For hot dog vendors like Palacios who are caught between the demands of the public and obeying the law, there's no victory. And now, with bacon-wrapped hot dogs to appear in supermarkets, the game is really on.
Palacios says since her trip to jail, she now prepares her hot dogs the only way that the Environmental Health Department allows, which is by boiling or steaming them, not grilling. And grilling is really the only way to make a classic L.A. bacon-wrapped hot dog.
"Honestly, I can tell you, I've been a working person all my life, I've worked since I was 9 years old. I don't like being bothered, I don't like being arrested. Never in my life had I been to jail, and they threw me in jail for violating the laws of the health department."