Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D.

I study people, technology, and the worlds they make

Reflections on the corn dog

One of the other retail food service establishments in the Great Mall Food Court (which sounds like some kind of place where foods go on trial for being bad) is a place called “Hot Dog on a Stick.” Why it’s not called “Corn Dogs” is beyond me; could the term “corn dog” still be a trademark, or under copyright?

Naturally, the children gravitated to it, because it combines their two favorite food groups, hot dogs and sticks.

This is a place whose main claim to fame seems to be that the corn dogs– pardon me, hot dogs on a stick– are hand-dipped before they’re fried. Now, I don’t want to seem elitist, but even at it’s best this isn’t exactly a foodstuff that is going to show up on the Chez Panisse menu, and just what value is added by having it hand-dipped eludes me. It adds to the cooking time, and it lets you experience your child’s increasing impatience (expressed by a desire to attack the lemons that are artfully arranged on the counter, to advertise the $3 lemonade); but I defy anyone to argue that it’s actually a BETTER corn dog.

And aren’t corn dogs one of those foods that’s SUPPOSED to be mass-produced? It’s like sugar wafers, a form of cookie that is actually BETTER when it’s cheaper: the $3 organic Belgian ones have nothing on the 50-cent for a pound ones sporting artificial coloring that looks like it’s produced in a cyclotron.

1 Comment

  1. Check out the “original” corn dog or hot dog on a stick – since 1941, the Pronto Pup! Visit Pronto Pups are the best tasting corn dogs anywhere. You can even get them at the “real great mall” the Mall of American in Bloomington, MN.

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