WBEZ | hot dogs http://www.wbez.org/tags/hot-dogs Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago traditions beyond pizza: Italian beef, hot dogs, and jibaritos http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-11/chicago-traditions-beyond-pizza-italian-beef-hot-dogs-and-jibaritos <p><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/2481464011_0bc3b7b88a_b.jpg" style="height: 267px; width: 400px; float: left;" title="Chicago style jibaritos are clearly a specialty here. (Flickr/supafly)" /><strong>Jon and Rahm on pizza&nbsp;</strong></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Last week,&nbsp;The Daily Show host Jon Stewart went on a <a href="http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-november-13-2013/tower-record">hilarious rant</a> about his disdain for Chicago-style deep dish pizza, and Chicagons reacted not so much in anger, but dismay. How could anyone deny deep dish pizza? It&rsquo;s our greatest culinary export!&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A couple days later, Mayor Rahm Emanuel <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-mayor-pizza-slam-20131115,0,7053662.story" target="_blank">sent</a> two deep dish pizzas covered in anchovies to the comedian. &ldquo;Jon, deep dish with dead fish. Love, Rahm,&rdquo; reads a handwritten note.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And while the stunt was a welcome reprieve from the city&#39;s more pressing affairs, it also reminded me of Chicagoans&rsquo; typical reaction to outsiders that make misinformed judgements about the city.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The truth is, people who don&rsquo;t know Chicago will probably not like it. But instead of reacting to judgements, what we as Chicagoans could do is share the things that make our city&nbsp;as rich and unique as it is.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Finding food variety&nbsp;</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>First, there are multiple types of Chicago-style pizza. And in my opinion, the variety people talk about the most &ndash; deep dish &ndash; isn&#39;t the best.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I&rsquo;m not new to Chicago. This has been my home for 26 years, and for all that time, my family and I (along with many others on the North, West, and especially South Sides) have been more likely to eat Chicago thin crust pizza than deep dish.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Besides being cheaper, it&#39;s more accessible both in availability and ease of consumption. Square cut and crunchy on top, Chicago thin crust pizza remains one of my favorite local culinary traditions.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Pulling from tradition&nbsp;</strong></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Food in Chicago is not just what we eat; it helps define our way of life. It is who we are and where we came from. Despite its faults, this is a city&nbsp;born out of the dreams and aspirations of people from across the globe, and our food traditions reflect that.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>You can see this in a Chicago food blog <a href="http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2013/09/chicago-food-glossary-a-guide-to-the-windy-citys-unique-eats.html?ref=search">Serious Eats post</a>&nbsp;that gives&nbsp;a &quot;glossary&quot; of Chicago food. More than just a list, it&#39;s a means of exploring Chicago&rsquo;s diversity and food history.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Like all great cities should, Chicago has a collection of dishes that were invented within its borders and that you can&#39;t get anywhere else,&quot; wrote blogger Nick Kindeslperger. &quot;Some are so well known they&#39;ve entered the national discussion, while others are so esoteric they may only be familiar to those in a certain part of town.&rdquo;&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Kindeslperger breaks down everything from the Chicago-style hot dog to Italian beef, the <a href="http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2013/09/chicago-food-glossary-a-guide-to-the-windy-citys-unique-eats-slideshow.html#show-352874">Maxwell Street Polish</a> to the <a href="http://chicago.seriouseats.com/2012/07/the-10-best-jibaritos-in-chicago.html">jibarito</a>&nbsp;(a personal favorite). The list traverses cuisines with ancestral leanings from cross continents, but all are also firmly rooted in the inventive, hearty culinary traditions of the Midwest.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>To me, this multiplicity&nbsp;is a big part of what makes Chicago great. So rather than dwell on those who can&rsquo;t understand one style of our pizza, let&#39;s point them to the equally remarkable and delicious foods we call our own.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>When friends from out of town ask me what to do here, I usually tell them to eat the food &mdash;&nbsp;to go outside their comfort zone and discover that Chicago is more diverse than they could have ever imagined.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Britt Julious&nbsp;blogs about race and culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow her essays for WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/">here</a>&nbsp;and on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></div></p> Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:45:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-11/chicago-traditions-beyond-pizza-italian-beef-hot-dogs-and-jibaritos Currywurst: Yes, there is ketchup on a hot dog, and curry too http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-12/currywurst-yes-there-ketchup-hot-dog-and-curry-too-104155 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/christkindlmarket2012currywurst.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Currywurst at Christkindlmarket 2012 at Daley Plaza in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">I thought this was going to be an easy food quest, finally tasting the <a href="http://www.christkindlmarket.com/en/vendors/food-beverage-vendors/">currywurst at the Christkindlmarket</a> in Chicago. Instead, as with most quests, it raised more questions than answers.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">First,&nbsp;<em>Was ist Currywurst?</em> Easiest answer: a thick-sliced hot dog, smothered in a warm ketchupy sauce, sprinkled liberally with &quot;curry powder.&quot; It&#39;s been called Germany&#39;s national dish, and you may recall that the <a href="http://www.currywurstmuseum.de/">Currywurst Museum</a> opened in Berlin in 2009. But as with most national symbols, there&#39;s controversey. Some say the sausage must have casing, others say <em>nein</em>. Some say it should be served with fries, others say with a hard bread roll.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">I say whatever is served, it should always be eaten with the signature <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Currywurst_fork">little currywurst fork</a>. I&#39;ve eaten currywurst across Germany &mdash; from lunch food to drunk food &mdash; and to me, the little fork is as essential to the dish as a colorful <em>palettina</em> is to gelato, and chopsticks are to ramen.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But there was no little fork under that sauce above.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/christkindlmarket2012gluhwein.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Glühwein at Christkindlmarket 2012 (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Two vendors serve currywurst this year at the Christkindlmarket. They both use bratwurst, griddled on a flattop, then sliced and added to their currywurst sauce. In Germany, the kind of sausage is another source of controversey not surprisingly, though it&#39;s usually sliced and sauced to order.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Herta Heuwer invented currywurst in 1949 in Berlin &mdash; using ketchup and curry powder from British soldiers, traded for booze, <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204884404574364600782551292.html?mod=googlenews_wsj">legend has it</a> &mdash; but it remains a mystery how this unlikely flavor combination became so wildly popular, and remains so to this day.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">And yes, I did say ketchup in the homeland of hot dogs.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Our friends over at Curious City recently asked and tried to answer the question: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/questions-answered-chicago%E2%80%99s-flower-costs-oldest-sidewalk-and-why-no-ketchup-our">Why no ketchup on Chicago-style hot dogs?</a>&nbsp;I asked my food friend Bruce Kraig, co-author of the just released&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0759120730?ie=UTF8&amp;creativeASIN=0759120730&amp;tag=lklchu-20"><em>Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America</em></a>, who said, &quot;I agree with my friend Bob Schwartz that standard American tomato ketchup overwhelms the delicate balance of flavors and textures in a Chicago hot dog, but the pronouncement &#39;never put ketchup on a hot dog&#39; is, I think, a marketing device promoted by Vienna Beef perhaps on the 1960s or &#39;70s and with ever greater emphasis thereafter. This is a catchphrase that sets Chicago hot dog stand dogs and the city&#39;s own food identity (and identity in general) apart from all others.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&quot;On the other hand,&quot; Kraig said, &quot;Since Vienna Beef makes lots of condiments and no doubt would have been happy to sell ketchup or any other food, the no-ketchup slogan must be rooted in actual diners&#39; preferences.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In the meantime, taste the currywurst yourself at the Christkindlmarket until Christmas Eve, and chat with some of the vendors who have been spending the holidays in our fair city every year for the 16 years of the market, ketchup or mustard notwithstanding.</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/christkindlmarket2012picasso.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Christkindlmarket 2012 under the Picasso in Chicago (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 03 Dec 2012 10:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-12/currywurst-yes-there-ketchup-hot-dog-and-curry-too-104155 Ranking the epic wait times at three popular casual eateries http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2012-03-29/ranking-epic-wait-times-three-popular-casual-eateries-97733 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-29/Wait at Kuma&#039;s_Flickr_Robyn Lee.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2491/3876992017_a2869173b4_b.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 420px; " title="(Flickr/Robyn Lee)"></p><p><strong><span id="internal-source-marker_0.474457146145865">WORTH IT (EXCEPT I DIDN’T REALLY WAIT): </span>KUMA'S CORNER</strong><br><br>Monday night I went to <a href="http://www.kumascorner.com/">Kuma’s Corner</a> for the first time, where I’ve heard the heavy metal is incredibly loud, the wait time unbelievably long (friends and well-wishers promised me anything from two to four hours for dinner) and the burgers incredibly delicious. I had also heard that their service is a little rude, but maybe I was just confusing Kuma’s with Debevic’s. I met my friend Samantha at 5:30 and we actually beat the system, getting seated in about ten or fifteen minutes. Perhaps due to the alacrity with which we were seated, I’m not entirely able to judge whether the food was worth the wait, but I think it might help to establish that I already ate a bacon cheeseburger the day before, so my stomach was in a challenging mood, like, “OK Kuma’s. Let’s see if you can make me crave another burger.”</p><p>First we started with the pulled pork french fries, which are covered in tangy-sweet barbecue pulled pork, melted cheese and scallions. I am typically a purist when it comes to fries: I don’t like cheese fries and I don’t even like ketchup that much. These fries, though, were a whole new world. “These shouldn’t make sense, but they do,” I told Sam, once we had dug in. &nbsp;Make no mistake: the fries were ridiculous, definitely a meal in and of themselves. I feel like they took three years off my life.<br><br>I had a hard time picking a burger but I went with the <a href="http://www.kumascorner.com/food">YOB</a>, since it has a roasted red pepper on top which I felt made it ‘healthy.’ I bit into the burger and interrupted Samantha’s titillating story so that I could pay homage to it, and her for taking me to Kuma’s. The garlic aioli was my favorite part, but wow, that was a good burger: huge and juicy and way too much for one person but I still ate the whole thing anyway. I ordered the burger with the homemade chips, which I would count amongst my favorite chips of all time. I like super-crispy chips, preferably ones that have folded over on themselves, and these delivered on both counts.<br><br>Our server was friendly but the music was incredibly loud and got louder as we sat there. Poor Sam was nursing a cold and basically lost her voice by the end of the night. But still, I came ready to be irritated by Kuma’s, but I wasn’t. Knowing that it’s possible to get a burger and not wait for forever, I’d go back, but I’d resist going at a non-early-bird time.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3556/3559882671_f45f608bbf_b.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 473px; " title="(Flickr/Adam Norwood)"></p><p><br><strong>WORTH IT BUT DISQUALIFIED FOR PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT:</strong> <strong>HOT DOUG'S</strong><br><br>I’d heard about the hourlong waits for <a href="http://www.hotdougs.com/">Hot Doug’s </a>hot dogs before but couldn’t imagine that a simple hot dog, which takes like three bites to eat, could possibly be worth that wait time, but our friends insisted we try it sometime. We saw Doug himself on <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3fEzmNVshc">Mark Bazer’s Interview Show</a> and thought he seemed like a nice guy (niceness can convince me to try almost anything), so for our anniversary a few years ago, my husband and I took the day off of work for a day of fun, which included lunch at Doug’s.<br><br>Our mistake was getting in line right about noon on a weekday. I did the opposite of what I recommend regarding Kuma’s: hitting the rush. However, it was a nice day, we both had reading material and nowhere else to be. After waiting about an hour, we finally got up to the man himself (Doug). I asked whether one order of fries would be enough for the both of us, and Doug said it would be more than enough. “What the hell--it’s our anniversary!” I said, and then Doug comped our meal. We left a $14 tip.<br><br>One of the nice thing about Doug’s is that once you’re at the counter, you don’t have to wait for a seat. Doug makes friendly small talk until a table opens up, so once you’re in, you’re in. Of course, our views on Hot Doug’s were colored thanks to the free meal, but Steve and I agreed that the hot dogs were worth the wait. I had ordered a dog made of bacon, covered in red pepper and creamy garlic sauce. It was a big hot dog in a nice, substantial but not too-bready bun, so it didn’t feel like some cheap three-bite stand wiener. It was delicious. The fries were good too but I wouldn’t wait in line for those alone. Next time I think I’d order three hot dogs to share and get a small fry. I’m glad we went. Everyone was right.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-29/great lake pizza_flickr_sandor weisz.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 418px;" title="(Flickr/Sandor Weisz)"><br>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>INFURIATING:</strong> <strong>GREAT LAKE PIZZA</strong><br><br>Steve and I live near <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3fEzmNVshc">Great Lake pizza</a>, which got megahyped a few years ago when <em>GQ</em> magazine deemed its pizza the best in the solar galaxy. We’d heard that the wait time there was insane and that there are no shortcuts--you can’t call in an order for takeout or anything like that.<br><br>We figured that since it was within walking distance of us, it’d be silly not to try it, and so we deemed a way to work with the system: We’d go, put in our names and go have a drink or two at the restaurant next door.<br><br>This part of the system worked pretty well, but our cocktail hour did last about an hour and a half. Eventually we got into Great Lake with our BYOB bottle of wine, already semi-lubricated. At our communal table, we ordered a salad and some sort of pepperoni-esque pizza. The salad arrived and was absolutely gorgeous, so we were pleased with the experience so far. But an hour after we sat down, our waiter brought out a mushroom pizza.<br><br>“We ordered the salami pizza,” I said.<br><br>“Oh. Well. Sorry. This is all I have for right now,” he said. “So, uh. What do you want to do?”<br><br>“This is fine!” Steve said, because he’s way too nice in situations like this. He hates making trouble. “I’ll eat it.”<br><br>“You hate mushrooms,” I pointed out. “Like, more than anything.” I told the waiter we’d wait another 45 minutes for the pizza we ordered. He sighed and went back to the kitchen.<br><br>By the time our proper pizza finally arrived, we were hungry, annoyed and not entirely sober. The crust of the pizza itself was beautifully made, soft and bubbly and fresh, but the pizza itself was incredibly salty. And I’m a salt person. I’ll salt food to death.<br><br>“Do you think this was...worth the wait?” I asked the other couple sitting at the table with us. They concurred that their pizza or experience weren’t exactly The Universe’s Best. I advised them to try <a href="http://www.apartpizzacompany.com/">Apart </a>instead, where we typically order, which is cheaper, faster, friendlier and ultimately much more delicious for what you pay for. (Our bill at Great Lake for one salad and one pizza was over $40.)<br><br>I think the moral of the story in these situations is that the wait has to be worth it at least in terms of service or quality but ideally both, but the onus is on the customer to be aware of the pitfalls of all eateries that potentially make you wait a long time for your relatively quick bite. Even if I was ready for the wait, if I wasn’t in the right mood, the noise of Kuma’s would have been a turnoff. I wouldn’t probably wait for Hot Doug’s on a snowy day. With Great Lake, we played the waiting game but still got dinged both in terms of service and quality, so I wouldn’t go back unless I felt like I needed a bit of an ego check.</p></p> Thu, 29 Mar 2012 14:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2012-03-29/ranking-epic-wait-times-three-popular-casual-eateries-97733 List: Reasons I have not eaten at the Wiener's Circle http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2012-03-27/list-reasons-i-have-not-eaten-wieners-circle-97659 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-27/weiners circle_flickr_media fury.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-27/weiners circle_flickr_media fury.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 473px;" title="(Flickr/Media Fury)"></p><ol><li>I'm a Superdawg kind of girl</li><li>Drunken college kids frighten me</li><li>I was led to believe that we live in a post-racial America</li></ol><p><em>I'll be talking about the new <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/wieners-circle-reality-show_n_1380428.html">Wiener's Circle reality TV show</a> (and more) on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/96293">The Afternoon Shift</a> today around 2:40 p.m. </em></p></p> Tue, 27 Mar 2012 15:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2012-03-27/list-reasons-i-have-not-eaten-wieners-circle-97659 Controversial billboard on the Eisenhower alleges hot dogs cause cancer http://www.wbez.org/story/controversial-billboard-eisenhower-alleges-hot-dogs-cause-cancer-97265 <p><p>A controversial new billboard on the Eisenhower Expressway is trying to increase awareness of colorectal cancer with a blunt message: Hot Dogs Cause Butt Cancer.</p><p>Drivers passing between the Kostner and Cicero exits while heading west won't be able to miss the sign, which includes a cartoon drawing of a man in a hospital gown with a hot dog in hand. The <a href="http://www.pcrm.org/media/news/billboard-warns-chicago-of-hot-dog-butt-cancer">Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine </a>posted the billboard this week, in what they say is a way to get important research out of a medical journal and into people's brains.</p><p>Susan Levin, nutrition director for the PCRM, said the group was inspired by a 2007<a href="http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&amp;id=15642&amp;news_iv_ctrl=0&amp;abbr=pr_"> American Institute for Cancer Research study</a> that said eating processed meats increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.</p><p>"Nobody knows this - this is the kind of language you hear when people talk about tobacco and lung cancer but nobody was associating processed meats like pepperoni, or hot dogs or deli meats with cancer," Levin said.</p><p>Levin said hopes the billboard raises awareness in a city that's known for its hot dogs.<br> <br> Meanwhile, the American Meat Institute is calling the billboard "outrageous." The national meat and poultry trade organization released a<a href="http://www.meatami.com/ht/display/ReleaseDetails/i/76277"> statement</a> Wednesday that cited multiple studies that say there is no link between colon cancer and processed meats. The statement said hot dogs are part of any healthy diet when put alongside vegetables, grains and dairy.<br> <br> In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found Illinois has one of the highest <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/state.htm">rates</a> of colorectal cancer in the country.</p></p> Wed, 14 Mar 2012 12:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/controversial-billboard-eisenhower-alleges-hot-dogs-cause-cancer-97265 Kraft, Sara Lee settle hot dog legal battle http://www.wbez.org/story/kraft-sara-lee-settle-hot-dog-legal-battle-91694 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-12/kraft-saralee.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The legal battle over which Chicago company has the right to say it makes the best hot dogs in the country has ended quietly.</p><p>The lawsuits ended with a settlement between Kraft and Sara Lee. The two suburban Chicago-based food makers are parent companies to Oscar Mayer and Ballpark, which are major hot dog brands. Each company sued the other over claims of false advertising.</p><p>Sidley Lindner, a spokeswoman for Kraft, said the terms of the settlement are confidential, but the parties agreed not to exchange any money and neither party will have to change marketing strategy.</p><p>In a written statement from Sara Lee, the company said it's pleased with the settlement and it's looking forward to marketing its Ball Park hot dogs.</p></p> Thu, 08 Sep 2011 18:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/kraft-sara-lee-settle-hot-dog-legal-battle-91694 Testimony to begin in 'wiener wars' trial http://www.wbez.org/story/testimony-begin-wiener-wars-trial-90639 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-16/chicago hot dog_flickr_Jen Waller.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Expert witnesses are testifying Tuesday in the case of two prominent hot dog manufacturers suing each other for false advertising.</p><p>During Monday's opening statements, federal Judge Morton Denlow had some fun with the attorneys about the topic at hand, calling the trial 'wiener wars.' But Tuesday, things took a more serious tone as testimony began. Kraft and Sara Lee, the owners of Oscar Mayer and Ball Park respectively, are suing each other for claims made in ads.</p><p>The first witness, Gerald Ford - not that Gerald Ford - testified for Sara Lee. Ford had surveyed a few hundred people, showing them an Oscar Mayer ad claiming it makes the best-tasting beef hot dogs.</p><p>Sara Lee says Kraft ran a faulty taste test and lied in those ads. Kraft has filed a similar lawsuit about Sara Lee's ads. An attorney for Sara Lee says he also plans to call taste test experts to the stand.</p><p>The trial will also address the age old question of just what's in a hot dog, anyway.</p><p>Monday, federal Judge Morton Denlow joked during opening arguments Monday, saying his favorite hot dog brand wasn't represented in this case. But if there's any indication how seriously Kraft and Sara Lee are taking the issues, look no further than the thousands of pages of documents they've filed over the last two years leading up to the trial. Judge Denlow joked Monday he had to stop reading the novel 'Anna Karenina' because the court filings in this case were longer than that book.</p><p>The trial is expected to last about two weeks.</p></p> Tue, 16 Aug 2011 12:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/testimony-begin-wiener-wars-trial-90639 Hot dog wars: Kraft, Sara Lee battle over claims in ads http://www.wbez.org/story/hot-dog-wars-kraft-sara-lee-battle-over-claims-ads-90549 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-15/chicago hot dog_flickr_Jen Waller.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>Updated at 1:40 p.m. on 8/15/11</strong></p><p>A legal beef between the nation's two largest hot dog makers is under way in federal court in Chicago, where a judge will determine whether Oscar Mayer or Ball Park franks broke false-advertising laws in their efforts to become top dog.&nbsp;</p><p>At issue?&nbsp; Which Chicago-based brand can say it makes the country's greatest hot dog.</p><p>Judge Morton Denlow said "let the weiner wars begin" as he invited lawyers to begin opening remarks Monday.</p><p>West suburban-based Sara Lee is suing north suburban-based Kraft over claims made on its hot dog packaging and ads. Kraft owns Oscar Mayer while Sara Lee runs Ball Park.</p><p>Sara Lee argued a Kraft ad campaign falsely claimed it won a national taste test, when there were alleged flaws in the way those tests were conducted. An attorney for Sara Lee said taste testers weren't given the option to put condiments on the hot dogs. When he suggested consumer should've been allowed to put on ketchup, the judge jokingly said that's an area of great dispute.</p><p>Sara Lee's attorney also focused on Oscar Mayer's claims that it has a brand of hot dogs that are 100% pure beef. Sara Lee argues those dogs also contain other ingredients, like water and spices, and therefore aren't 100% pure. Kraft contends the beef is pure; there's no mystery meat. The lawsuit dates back to 2009.</p><p>Erin Lash, an analyst for Morningstar who follows both companies, said there's good reason the brands find it worth suing each other over ads: the sales.</p><p>"We're dealing with a very competitive space and retail meats, in particular, can be a category where consumers tend to consider price rather than brand when making purchase decisions," Lash said.</p><p>In court filings, neither company disclosed a specific dollar amount lost because of the others' ads.&nbsp;</p><p>But the food-industry giants underscored how high the stakes are by filing thousands of pages of legal documents over three years of litigation. Judge Denlow also joked with attorneys that the court filings were longer than "Anna Karenina."</p><p>The case could clarify how far companies nationwide can go when boasting that their product is better than a competitor.</p><p>Judge Denlow will determine the verdict, rather than a jury.</p></p> Mon, 15 Aug 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/hot-dog-wars-kraft-sara-lee-battle-over-claims-ads-90549 Bastille Day and our French connection http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-07-14/bastille-day-and-our-french-connection-89163 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-14/hotdougsfoie.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-14/hotdougsfoie.JPG" style="width: 448px; height: 297px;" title=""></p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.28902013160243445" style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">When I moved to Paris to attend Le Cordon Bleu, our flight left America on Bastille Day. When we landed the next morning I learned that the French don’t call it Bastille Day. They just call <em>le quatorze juillet</em> - the fourteenth of July. More surprisingly, and disappointingly, I discovered that there aren’t really any food traditions associated with it either. No burgers, no dogs, and certainly no <em>saucission</em>-eating contest à la Nathan’s.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Sure there are few more <em>picques-niques</em> than usual, because today does mark the unofficial start of the six-week French vacation season. Over the years I’ve spotted a few more <em>barbeques à charbon</em> too, though not the chic <a href="http://www.barbecueweber.fr/Default.aspx?ID=29&amp;ProductID=PROD195&amp;ProductVariantID=VO16&amp;GroupID=GROUP9#PROD195%20" target="_blank">white Smokey Joe Premium</a> made by Weber based in Palatine. As impractical it’s got to be, I have to admit I covet it.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">But this is Chicago, where we call it Bastille Day, and it’s a work day, but there are celebrations - with food.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">And we do have an important historic French connection. Remember that the first known non-native permanent resident of Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. While his name is French, his origins are disputed, but he’s believed to have been of African and European descent. In 1789, on July 14th, while a crowd stormed Bastille prison in Paris, du Sable was already living in what would become Chicago 44 years later.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">His settlement, what’s now known as Pioneer Court - at the river, just off Michigan Avenue - is about a mile walk away from the <a href="http://www.frenchmarketchicago.com/events/" target="_blank">Chicago French Market</a> at Ogilvie station, where the vendors are serving specials today with live entertainment.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Up at Hot Doug’s, Monsieur Sohn has his infamous Foie Gras and Sauternes Duck Sausage with Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse, and Fleur de Sel on today's specials menu for $9. But no </span><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">Duck Fat Fries, which you should know by heart by now are available Friday and Saturday only - by your slowed-beating heart.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">For those of us celebrating after work today, Rob Levitt, the chef and butcher at <a href="http://www.thebutcherandlarder.com/" target="_blank">The Butcher &amp; Larder</a>, will have fresh Toulouse sausages by around 5 p.m. Rob says, “they’re pork with a decent amount of garlic, black pepper, nutmeg, and ground mustard seed.” He recommends frying them up in a pan, serving them with a summertime lentil salad dressed in a mustard vinaigrette. He says they’re good grilled too. Get them while they last. The roughly quarter pound sausages sell out fast at $10 per pound.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">And did you know that the biggest Bastille Day celebration in North America is in Milwaukee? The four-day <a href="http://easttown.com/events/bastille-days" target="_blank">Bastille Days</a> kicks off tonight with a “storming of the Bastille” 5k run and 2 mile walk. They even have a signature 43-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline;">France. Milwaukee. Wherever you celebrate, whatever you call it, I guess you’re bound to find cheeseheads.</span></p></p> Thu, 14 Jul 2011 15:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/louisa-chu/2011-07-14/bastille-day-and-our-french-connection-89163 Chicago hot dog court battle heats up in Vienna Beef v. Red Hot http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-hot-dog-court-battle-heats-vienna-beef-v-red-hot-88261 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-23/53020003.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Another week, another wiener scandal.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.viennabeef.com/">Vienna Beef</a> Chief Executive Jim Bodman, either <a href="http://www.redhotchicago.com/">Red Hot Chicago</a> stole the Vienna Beef hot dog recipe, or its marketing is lying to customers. As a result, the company has filed a lawsuit against its sausage-making rival.</p><p>“Scott has been running ads in the trade magazines telling people that he’s using the original family formula,” Bodman said about Red Hot Chicago founder Scott Ladany in a phone interview, “We’re concerned that he is attempting to mislead people into thinking that he is part of our organization or we’re a big happy family or something like that.”</p><p>Scott Ladany is the grandson of Samuel Ladany, one of the two founders of Vienna Beef in 1893. Scott Ladany worked for Vienna Beef until he decided to leave in 1983 to start his own hot dog company. On his exit, he signed employment and severance agreements that prohibited him from using the company’s recipes.</p><p>Bodman doesn’t know if Red Hot Chicago is using Vienna Beef’s hot dog recipe -- he says Ladany has denied it -- but he does know that their advertising is unfair.</p><p>“It’s [the lawsuit’s] coming now because he started using the phrase that he has been using original family recipes,” Bodman said. “And that’s a new phrase. And that’s the one that really bothered us.”</p><p>A Red Hot Chicago representative said they are not yet ready to comment on the lawsuit.</p><p><a href="http://www.culinaryhistorians.org/home.html">Culinary historian Dr. Bruce Kraig</a>, who wrote a book titled <a href="http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/H/bo6899754.html"><em>Hot Dog: A Global History</em></a>, said when he tasted the two hot dog brands side-by-side several years ago, he detected a difference in the two. But he said that doesn’t prove it’s not the same recipe.</p><p>“Anyone that makes a Chicago-style, the flavoring profile that is in a Vienna, can come close and it wouldn’t be exactly the same,” Kraig said. “So I can’t comment on whether that recipe is reproduced by Red Hot Chicago.”</p><p>But in court, evidence can be found to show what ingredients were used in each wiener, said Kraig.</p><p>“Any sausage maker can replicate any recipe, because the chemists can analyze it,” Kraig said. “So they know whether it’s the same recipe or not.”</p></p> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 19:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-hot-dog-court-battle-heats-vienna-beef-v-red-hot-88261