In an interview, entrepreneur Monica Eaton-Cardone said, “Hearing that someone wants to be like you is the greatest compliment a leader can receive.” There’s a lot of truth there–imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery–but there is also a lot to be said for being the genuine article. While West Virginia has its own spectacular brands of hot dogs, there are a handful of dogs so identified with a specific region that you can’t even buy them here …
… or at least you couldn’t before the wonder of the internet.
Life in the digital age means you can have regional wiener styles from across the country delivered right to your doorstep. For example:
Founded on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1905, this classic all-beef kosher dog is world-famous for its juicy, garlicked flavor. A little grilling, a toasty bun, a dab of mustard and some ‘kraut … our mouths are already watering! Isadore Pinckowitz, a Romanian immigrant butcher, bought the company in 1928 and began selling kosher sausages and hot dogs to deli restaurants and supermarkets across New York. The company’s reputation grew, and today Hebrew National is one of the leading kosher meat processors in the world. Order online at hebrewnational.com.
In honor of the World-Series winning Boston Red Sox, how about a famous Fenway Frank from Kayem Meats? The Monkiewicz family has been perfecting Kayem’s finely crafted meats since 1909 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and even offer a 100% beef version with that classic Fenway flavor. If you’re looking for something a little spicier, try the all-natural Fenway Sausage, the official sausage of the Boston Red Sox. A fan favorite in the stands or in the back yard, you can find all these delicious treats (and more!) at Kayem.com.
Fun fact: 80% of Chicago’s hot dog vendors serve Vienna Beef products. After founding the company in 1893, Austrian-Hungarian immigrants Emil Reichel and Samuel Ladany introduced their Vienna Beef frankfurters at the legendary Columbian Exposition/World’s Fair. 125 years later, they’re still making sausages the old-fashioned way, with premium domestic beef and our original recipe, to the highest of quality standards. What sets Vienna franks apart, however, is their legendary hickory-smoked flavor. You can shop for a wide variety of their products by logging on to viennabeef.com.
Alaska Sausage and Seafood
How else are you going to get smoked reindeer sausage in West Virginia? Hand-made from old world recipes, these sausages can hold their own against any dog out there. 24-year-old Herbert Eckmann left Frankfurt, Germany in 1961, looking for opportunities in Anchorage, Alaska. A trained chef, he went to work as a sausage maker alongside fellow German Otto Poehling. The two men became friends and within two years, Alaska Sausage and Seafood was born. Their specialty is a grilled dog topped with Coca-Cola-caramelized onions–yum! Check out their sausages and salmon at alaskasausage.com.
This is just a start, of course: do a little digging, and just about any regional dog can be obtained through mail order. So next you find yourself yearning for an authentic D.C. half-smoke or a true Rochester frank, log on: chances are, what your wanting is waiting for you.