Saturday, December 09, 2006

That New Hot Dog Smell!

I like my hot dogs to go. Almost always when I stop at a new place to pick up a hot dog to review, I get it to go. One reason is that a hot dog that is steamed and wrapped properly gets really nice and gooey during the drive to wherever I plan on enjoying it. The other reason is because you get a lot of funny looks when you eat and photograph a hot dog for a review. I prefer to make a fool of myself in private. Or at least in the privacy of my own car. But this practice has revealed yet another property of WVHDs that deserve some thought.

The other day after a double review day I picked up my daughter after school. It had been three hours since I had devoured the last bit of hot dog, but as soon as my daughter got in the car she looked askance at me and said "you had hot dogs for lunch, didn't you?" I knew what tipped her off, and it wasn't the mustard stain on my shirt. My car had that new hot dog smell.

Now for some, the odor of chili and onions lingering on the upholstery of an otherwise clean automobile might seem like a bad thing; my daughter would reside in this camp. But to some people, namely me, the scent that greets me each time I enter the vehicle is perfume and the longer it stays around the better I like it.

But I've noticed that all hot dog aromas aren't created equal when it comes to staying power. I have begun to see a pattern of which hot dog flavor qualities translate to a scent that will stick with you the longest. For example, the more onions on a hot dog, the longer the scent sticks around in your car. But there is also a correlation between staying power and how brown the sauce is: The browner the better. I'm not sure why this is.

More research is definitely needed in this area.

BTW, I posted a new, more complete slaw map over at All counties are now documented, albeit some on very little data. I'm open to corrections if you have any information on outlying counties.

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