March 17, 2010

REAL HOT DOGS COME WRAPPED IN CRESCENT ROLLS:

Every (corn) dog has its day: Whatever the origin, the street-food staple endures (Chris McNamara, March 17, 2010, Chicago Tribune)

Some say the corn dog originated in the late 1920s with the Krusty Korn Dog baking machine. The people at Pronto Pup in Portland, Ore., claim that George and Versa Boyington created it when they deep-fried franks in the late '30s. Around this time, "Corny Dogs" began appearing at the Texas State Fair.

Our state capital's own Cozy Dog Drive In (2935 S. Sixth St., Springfield, 217-525-1992, cozydogdrivein.com) claims credit for the corn dog's evolution.

"My father-in-law's version of the story is that he saw one made in a waffle iron and figured there had to be a quicker way to do it," said current owner Sue Waldmire about founder Ed Waldmire.

"He put the hot dog on a stick, his buddy's dad had a bakery where they made our special batter, he had special fryers made and the rest is history."

Whatever the origin, this street-food staple endures. These days you can buy frozen corn dogs at grocery stores and bake or microwave them at home. There are recipes online for corn dog casseroles. Bars serve mini corn dogs — stickless, bite-size mutations of the real thing.

Those will suffice in a pinch, but the real deal is something special. Deep-fried to order. A meal that comes with its own handle. A Frankensteinian hybrid of doughnut and sausage that you can eat with one hand, leaving the other hand free to salute the American flag or wield a bottle of French's mustard.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2010 6:35 AM
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