Tuesday, March 02, 2010

New England Style Buns - Not for a WVHD!

More and more I get comments about people preferring buttered and grilled slit-top New England style buns for their West Virginia Hot Dog. And the more I read those comments the more I come to believe that to use a New England Style bun and to call it a WVHD is an abomination.

These comments have been especially evident in the FaceBook crowd: It seems those people all like their buns fat and buttery (I will leave the jokes for you to make).

It is time to set the record straight and educate some people in the process.

First, let’s talk about the name: It is a “New England Style” bun, not “English”. I will admit that I am complicit in propagating the incorrect labeling of this product because I was always content to accept various HDJs labels. Not anymore. I’ve done my own research and have concluded that this item did indeed emanate from up north, and certainly not across The Pond (although German buns are remarkably similar). This bun shall forever more be known as “New England Style”.

Many hot dog joints plop a weenie on a NES bun and call it an “English Dog.” From now on this will result in a mandatory one-half Weenie deduction from the total score on a review. This is in addition to our existing policy of a mandatory one-half Weenie deduction for the use of said buns.
Now before we get too far, let me say that I really do like the flavor and texture of grilled NES buns; but I also like ketchup on my scrambled eggs but I wouldn't do that in front of strangers either! I also will confess that I mistakenly gave the 2006 Weenie Award for the Best Hot Dog Buns in Charleston to an establishment that prided itself in their buttered and grilled NES buns. So it's not like I don't appreciate the NES bun, it's just that it doesn't belong on a WVHD.
When NES buns are grilled in butter they add a lot of comforting bulk to the dog. Quite frankly, I find it difficult to eat two hot dogs on NES Buns in one sitting because of the extra volume. But bulk is not what we’re about here. Since they take up more than their fair share of the space and calorie budget, NES buns reduce the amount of chili, slaw and other toppings that one can consume and therefore makes these toppings more of a footnote than the main course. Not to mention that the buttery flavor tends to camouflage other tastes. I personally believe that any hot dog that uses NES buns should be suspected of simply trying to compensate for lesser quality weenie and toppings.
And come on people, this is West By God Virginia: How can we have a West Virginia Hot Dog with a damned Yankee sounding bun like that? What's next, Pinto beans and croissants?
Feel free to comment, you Yankee sympathizers, but prepare yourself to be ridiculed by those of who care about keeping our hot dog heritage pure.


gweerrn-google said...

I believe we can agree and disagree on this point. I will be the first to admit to the loving of, and sanctity of the WV Dog, but I must admit, I did not come to love that traditional combanation of "sauce and slaw" until I was a young adult. The loving of the "English" or "New England" bun, for me, has one origin, Dairy Queen. I remember as a kid stopping at the Dairy Queen in Glasgow, on our way to visit my grandparents, and my mother buy us a hot, crispy, "New England" hot dog with just mustard. It was a sheer delight, and is still a favorite today, but in my world, the "WV Dog" and the "New England Dog" are two seperate things, each holding a cozy place in my heart, the "WV Dog" does, and always will, be West Virginia to me and many others, but the "New England Dog" is more a childhood warm and fuzzy for me, and always will be.

Susan said...

Misty and I like what you said about mandatory deductions - and we'd like to hear more.

What other atrocities result in a mandatory deduction and to what degree?

Do you begin with a score of five and deduct from that? Or do HDJs build a score by earning points in certain areas and then you reduce it with these mandatory deductions?

Lastly, do you use an Excel spreadsheet for these caluclations?

Chris James said...

I give an auto-deduction for slaw under the dog, a plague here in Huntington.

Paul S. said...

While I can understand the purist sentiment I have to respectfully disagree simply on the grounds that good New England style bun is absolutely delicious.

Also I find it incredibly annoying when a fellow West Virginian uses the term "Yankee" when referring to our North Eastern neighbors. Show some Union pride. We became a state because the Confederacy offered us nothing and the Yankees took us in with open arms.

Yank said...

I'll admit ot being torn between the two styles of buns. What I can't accept is your feeling that those that use NES buns toasted with butter are trying to mask an otherwise less acceptable wienie.
That would be like someone saying the other style buns can accept more condiments which are meant to mask an inferior wienie.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

In Ne they call them "english" buns.
Mmmmm, that looks like one of those great kosher snappy dogs in that english bun. . . a little saurkraut, sweet pickle relish and lots of mustard and ya got yerself one hell of a dog!!!

melinuxf00l said...

We don't call them "buns" either, they're called hot dog "rolls".

And the best part about them is the fact that you can put butter on the sides and toast them for a crispy roll with your hot dog. They taste way better that way than they do cold or steamed.