Friday, April 27, 2012

Copenhagen: The Danish Hot Dog

In northern Germany, there are a number of rivalries that define the region, polarize people and occasionally instigate all out wars of words. For example, the camp who insists currywurst comes from Berlin vs. those who believe it originated in Hamburg; the St. Pauli fans vs. the HSV fans; the born Hamburgers vs. the transplants; and those who insist Hamburg and all of northern Germany should still belong to Denmark (i.e. the Danish) vs. well, basically, Germans. It's a little dispute that the Fastaguchis love to jokingly (with the slightest hint of seriousness) get into, throwing historical jabs in favor of their respective countrymen, tallying battles and refusing to divvy the spoils. 

But one thing the northern Germans will admit, at least Kai and Ingo, is that when they do cross that border from Germany into Denmark, just outside of Flensburg, the first thing they think about is not territorial integrity, but hot dogs. Yep, pink, probably mechanically separated pork scraps wrapped in intestinal casing. These boys will pull over at the first gas station or rest stop and pony up the Kröners for (the first many) Danish hot dogs. 

So what gives, boys? You come from the land of sausage. Bratwursts of all shapes and sizes are available at every major sporting event, holiday market, street fair, etc. The entire Deutsch language constantly pays homage to its beloved pork products with sayings like, "Das ist mir wurst", meaning  "I don't care" but literally, "This is sausage to me"; or "Es ist sau kalt", meaning, "It is realllllly f*cking cold" but literally, "It is pig cold (or hot or expensive, insert other adjective)"; there are many others that I am forgetting (what is the one about "schinken" or ham? - German speakers chime in!) but the point is, pork is ingrained in the German psychy.

Despite the omnipresence of the wurst in Germany, these boys beeline for this: a "foot-long" skinny hot dog, in a one size fits all bun (that's not nearly long enough to accommodate the dog), topped with ketchup, mustard, raw onions, pickles slices and (the kicker that distinguishes it from an American ballpark hot dog) crunchy fried onions. And I must admit, either because it reminds me of my childhood or because it's somewhat "exotic" compared to the typical German wurst, I too, am a fan. 

We stopped at a little food truck downtown to kill a couple for lunch when the kids got whiny and tired. And they totally hit the spot. 

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