Monday, July 04, 2011

Test Results - Fairmont meets Marmet

As I wrote earlier today, a Fourth of July cookout gave me the opportunity to test out my theory that if you add a cool, creamy coleslaw to the top of a spicy Fairmont style hot dog it would make a great West Virginia Hot Dog. Here is my report on the test:

 As much grief as I like to give Fairmont people for their stubborn resistance to slaw on hot dogs, I have to give them credit for some of the most interesting chili sauce to be found anywhere. Marion County does a few things right: Pepperoni Rolls and Spicy Hot Dog Chili Sauce would be two of those things. Yann's is the most famous of these, and most definitely the hottest. My recipe for a Yann's tastealike took all day to cook but was worth it. The sauce was not quite as spicy as Yann's but had perhaps more complexity and reminded me of other Marion County HDJs like Woody's or Lupos.

My Marmet Yellow Slaw recipe produced a slightly more vinegary slaw than I have had at the classic yellow slaw HDJs like Mr. C's or the newcomer, Chums. In spite of the extra vinegar flavor, the slaw had a wonderful texture and a sweet complexity that is hard to match with a mayonnaise based slaw.

My plan was to put these diverse elements together on top of grilled Nathan's Famous weenies and let my guests decide the success or failure of the combination.

The result? Everyone liked the chili sauce - even those from eastern Kanawha County where spicy chili is rare. Everyone liked the slaw, although the praise it received was somewhat muted compared to that given to the chili. The two together? The opinions were unanimous: There was synergy here. The spicy chili was cooled down nicely by the sweet slaw and the whole was was greater than the sum of its parts.

As a personal test, I loaded up a test dog with chili sauce, mustard and onions and then applied slaw to only one end. I started on the "Fairmont" end and ate my way to the "Marmet" end. No doubt that the dog's taste got markedly better halfway through.

My only regret is that I didn't go ahead and make some mayo based slaw to offer my guests to see which they preferred. Perhaps that will be a Labor Day project.

Now I would love to try this test again for some open-minded Fairmont people, but in my experience there are no open minded Fairmont people when it comes to hot dogs. Alas.


The Film Geek said...

Awesome blogpost. And the South wins again.

Handsome Pete said...

Admittedly my WVHD is incredibly limited. I love a traditional WVHD, but Yann's is a serious dog. By any dog standards.

Sonja K said...

Skeenies is not nearly as good as they were 10-15 years ago. You should check out Pete's Hot Dogs in Ripley. Better than Skeenies.