04 June 2012

Hot Diggity

So! I haven't had an animal-filled hot dog since something like 2006. (Hmm. That's actually kinda scary). Sure, I make vegetarian hot dogs at home every once in a while, but it's not the same as biting into a slightly charred barbecue hot dog at a friend's place, or trying an overpriced hot dog at a fair. For some reason, everyone remembers the veggie burgers, but no one remembers the hot dogs. In all honesty, though, I've never had a super delicious veggie burger or hot dog; they all lack that meaty zing.
My most important hot dog memory is that of when I was really young in Australia (so maybe I was 5?), and my brother, dad, and I were probably at a town fair. It was a cloudy, possibly rainy, day, and there was a food truck on some sports field. My dad got a hot dog, asked the person in the truck to cut it in half, and my brother and I each had half of a delicious hot dog with tomato sauce. Other hot dog memories include consuming them at rugby games. I'm not sure why I absolutely LOVED rugby as a kid, but I know that I stopped liking once I realised that it was a "boys" sport and that others would make fun of me for it.

I don't think I've had many super hot dog memories since then, except that there was this brand in Hong Kong that sold cheese-filled sausages. If someone could tell me what the name of the company is, I'd be super grateful. They even sold cocktail hot dogs the size of baby carrots!

Anyway, my friend J and I went to Hot Diggity, which is on South St., because they have vegetarian (and vegan) hot dogs. I was super excited! They have multifarious flavours, a zillion cute posters lining the walls, and a warm atmosphere (with 3 long tall benches with holes cut into the middle so that one can plop the cone of fries into the holes--unfortunately, as both J and I got the "small" fries, we both feared that the cone would fall through).
I got the Desert Dog while J got the Big Kahuna (I think?). The sausage was much longer (5 cm?) than the bun, which was a little odd, as the sausages were also really skinny. The vegetarian sausage was a little bland, not really charred, and didn't have the juicy, squeaky, sausage texture. It was alright, though. The bread was nicely grilled, and the toppings were... dry. Despite there being a chili sauce spread on the bun, the whole hot dog was as dry as a plain slice o' cheese on a piece of bread. It lacked juiciness. Although some people may love the vegetarian hot dogs here, I was not a fan.

The fries were nice (when are non trans-fat fries NOT nice? They're even yummy frozen!) and they even had the skins on them. They aren't the best I've ever had, and they're thick cut (while I prefer thin). Each dipping sauce costs 25c, and the guy gave us the House flavour for free. It has horseradish and ginger, and tastes really similar to the salad dressing from Samurai Sushi. In the end, the best part was just hanging out with J and being... "social" with someone other than my boyfriend and/or 2 close friends.

This episode culminates in me wondering, again, why I am a vegetarian. Sure, it's easy to do, environmentally better, provided I don't eat a ton of other imported processed food (read: candy), possibly more ethical, and healthier (except for the lack of vitamin B12 and iron). However, I now miss eating animals a little. I miss being ignorant about the ingredients of burgers, miss contributing to abusive cattle farms in the Amazon rainforest, and miss devouring umami by the truckload.

However, what I really wish to be, and more for environmental than economical reasons, is a freegan. You know, forage for food, obtain food from dumpsters that have only expired by half a day, eating friends' leftovers etc. This way, I could eat pretty much anything (animal or plant or fungi) I want without guilt of ruining the environment, since all the energy used in producing said food would not be wasted (and energy to transport these expired/unwanted foods to the landfill would be saved! Better for all!). As I'm in a city, I feel like this should be easy to accomplish. I guess I'm just scared of going alone and/or being labelled as a weirdo.

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