As a Chicagoan, you learn that you never dress your hot dog with ketchup. And the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council is in agreement.

I always thought the no ketchup rule was a Chicago eccentricity. And a rule that was made to be broken, by at least some Chicagoans. I get it though. Ketchup, in my opinion, just doesn't play well with the flavor of a hot dog. But, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, "Don't use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese, and chili are acceptable."

Last October I asked what you thought about putting ketchup on your hot dogs, and it was a close vote. Those who said ketchup on their frankfurter was a no-no barely edged out those who were ok with dressing their dog with ketchup.

My wife Kathy likes ketchup on her hot dogs, so sometimes if the mood strikes me I'll put ketchup on my hot dogs too.

Other advice when it comes to properly dressing and eating your red hot from the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council include:

  • Putting your toppings on top of the dog, not between the bun and the dog.
  • Wet condiments like mustard and chili go on the dog first, followed by chunky condiments, shredded cheese, and then spices like celery salt or pepper.
  • A hot dog should be eaten in five bites, seven bites for a foot-long wiener.
  • Don't bring wine to a hot dog barbeque. Beer, soda, iced tea and lemonade are the preferred beverages.
  • Do lick a hot dog's condiments off of your fingertips.

The bottom line, yeah, ketchup on your hot dog is to be avoided. It just doesn't play well with the other flavors of your dog. That said, rules are made to be broken. Whether they're set by eccentric Chicagoans or a hot dog and sausage advocacy group. It's your hot dog, dress it how it makes you happy.

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