Mustard. Period.

I just got home from the gym and in the car caught the tail end of a report that I swear said on a recently published list of top Ten Condiments for Hot Dogs, mustard placed third. I was so upset I ran into the house and Googled it. And the list I found, at yummydogs.com, had mustard right there on the top where it should be.
Am I ever relieved.
While I don’t eat a lot of hot dogs, I nevertheless am a hot dog fan. And as such, proclaim that topped with mustard, plain yellow mustard, is far and away the only way to consume one.
I do accept variations, however.
Chili, for example. Especially the chili at Majestic Lunch on Main Street in Pittston. But even they apply a layer of mustard, albeit the spicy brown version, first.
Then there’s sauerkraut. But once again, only along with mustard. Sauerkraut by itself? No way.
Same for green relish. I love sweet green relish on top of the mustard, but not alone. By the way, do they still make that hot dog relish with the green pickle relish and yellow mustard mixed together? I used to love that stuff.
I will go for melted cheese on a dog, especially if we are also talking chili. A chili-cheese dog. The sound of it even works.
But not bacon. I’m not against bacon, I just think we’ve gotten carried away with it. I won’t order a burger with bacon, no matter how good it smells. Burgers are just fine the way they are.
The yummydog.com list has ketchup in second place. The thought of ketchup on a dog usually infuriates mustard fans, but I’ll allow it. If for nothing else than to honor the memory of the late newspaper pressman and plate maker Joe Luke. He used to order his Majestic dogs with “ketchup only.” I never understood it, but I respected his right.
Onions come in three on the list but that really makes no sense. Nobody eats onions alone on a hot dog. They are always an add on, usually to mustard.
I won’t go through the whole list except to mention that coleslaw (are you kidding me?) is number 7, and (get this) mayonnaise is 10.
Reminds me of the time my wife and I attended the Queens Cup tennis tournament in London. There was a buffet under a tent with salmon as the featured item. Next to it was a gigantic bowl of something white. It turned out to be mayo, and everyone was heaping it on their salmon.
But not us.
If the thought of mayo on salmon wasn’t enough to turn us on, the 85-degree temperature sure was.

Ed Ackerman