October 19, 2011


'Top-loader' buns bring slice of East Coast to Des Moines: They offer deeper pockets that dogs can nuzzle into (Tom Perry, Oct. 18, 2011, Des Moines Register)

Best of all, because it has flat, crustless sides, the New England hot dog bun can be easily buttered and toasted or grilled on its exterior, which means it is going to deliver a different, dare I say, "better," flavor than an ordinary bun, not to mention an extra layer of texture.

How much different or better? Well, imagine the difference between a BLT made with toast and a BLT made on plain, white bread.

What's unfortunate is that these top-loading buns are seldom sold outside of New England, where, just for the record, side-loading buns are also available.

No one is certain why New Englanders get to choose from two different bun styles at grocery stores, and the inhabitants of the other 44 states get no choice at all.

Why did it take so long for these buns to migrate west of the Hudson River? Perhaps tourists, even those who enjoyed lobster salad in a toasted top-loaded bun in New England, did not return from their visits with enough enthusiasm to generate the demand for large bread makers to have two different bun-making production lines.

"Someone might come here and have one and go, 'Oh, I just can't get them where I live,' " and leave it at that, P.J. Hamel, a communications expert for King Arthur Flour, said of a top-loading bun.

(Based in Vermont, King Arthur Flour sells a special bun pan ($29.99) for home bakers. The pan is one of the company's best selling items online (www.kingarthurflour. com), spokeswoman Terri Rosenstock said.)

What do the savages beyond New England eat a hot dog off of now? The cave floor?

Posted by at October 19, 2011 3:56 PM

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