Before my recent trip to the US, I was asked by Friend James to provide an analysis of that seminal* piece of Americananana, the corn dog. While shopping at the Glendale Gonor-sorry-Galleria in Los Angeles, I took the opportunity to try one and document the experience.
Here’s what Wikipedia says about corn dogs. The article links to Hot Dog On A Stick, a famous chain of corn dog stands. And it was from a HDOAS stand that I bought a regular HDOAS, and a regular Lemonade.
I ordered the stuff, and the server grabbed a Not-Yet-Hot Dog On A Stick from the fridge, dipped it in the thick pale yellow batter, and plunged it into the hot oils. While it was cooking/heating/sterilizing, she filled a cup from the big clear plastic dispenser containing ice and lemons. Then she removed the dog from its golden bath**, laid it in a printed card tray and presented me with my meal.
Let’s examine the components more closely.
Hot dog: Standard turkey frank, pre-skewered.
Batter: I thought it was going to be corn bread, but it turned out to be corn-based “party batter”, into which the dog was dipped before deep frying.
Stick: Wood (unknown species).
Dressing: Heinz ketchup and Heinz mustard from large pump dispensers, in classic “wavy line” pattern, or at least my interpretation of it.
Lemonade: The traditional lemon juice, water and sugar mixture as sold by children from trestle tables underneath pecan trees. Tangy and sweet – very nice.
I took a bite.
The batter was hot, and sweet, with the grainy texture of polenta. The hot dog was a hot dog, but didn’t really go with the sweetness of the shell. But I bravely carried on, until nothing was left.
I have now eaten a corn dog. It was OK, I guess. I like hotdogs – not as much as Christopher Walken, mind you, but I like them. But combined with the sweet flavour and graininess of the batter, I have to say I wasn’t so keen. It wasn’t disgusting, but neither was it a taste sensation. Maybe next time I’ll try one with the meat replaced by cheese.
* I’m not sure I like the dual meaning here.
** Or here.