Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"But do they taste like, you know... beef?"

At the local Costco the other day, I found myself in the frozen- and refrigerated-foods section. A group of people was hovering by the hot dogs, of which three brands were displayed most prominently: Kirkland dinner franks (Kirkland is Costco's house brand), Nathan's hot dogs (same as the Nathan's restaurant chain), and my favorite: Hebrew National. One woman in particular was staring dubiously at the Hebrew National hot dogs; she began to move away from the refrigerator door, which allowed me to slip past her and grab a four-pack (seven dogs per pack). She turned to me and asked, "Are those any good?"

"Oh, yeah-- these are great!" I said.

"But do they taste like, you know... beef?"

"Of course!" I said. Unconvinced, she left the area. I have no idea what she was expecting, but this was a great example of how people trust only what they know. I'm guessing the word "Hebrew" threw her for a loop. I live out in Jesus country, where "Hebrew" probably calls to mind vague recollections of Sunday school and little else.

An interesting, if typo-ridden, blog post on Hebrew National franks versus other types of franks can be found here. I'll let my one or two Jewish readers comment on the post's factual accuracy. Me, I like Hebrew National franks because they're far more flavorful than other hot dog brands. They microwave better, too, if you're in a rush. Lastly: they're my go-to hot dog when I make budae-jjigae.



Charles said...

I vaguely remember commercials saying that they "answered to a higher authority."

Elisson said...

Kosher food products are no healthier or unhealthier than others. They simply meet the requirements of Jewish dietary law, which include restrictions on what animals (and what parts) may be eaten and how they are slaughtered.

Some Jewish communities do not accept Hebrew National's kashruth certification. But I'm not so picky. Hey, I eat a lot of things that are in no way kosher: the flesh of the swine, the scallop, the shrimp, the lobster, even unto Leviathan himself.

Having said that, I like kosher beef hot dogs, including Hebrew National, Sinai Kosher, et alia, mainly because of their beefy, garlicky flavor profile. Last time I had 'em, it was in a curry-style dish with lots of onions, garlic, turmeric, and cilantro. Excellent.

Maven said...

I'm a Shofar Frank gal myself, tho would do Hebrew Nationals in the absence of Shofars.

I like the idea of Kosher meat, particularly beef, as it is from the forefront of the animal, and hypothetically would run a lesser risk of e-coli being present, unlike the back end of the animal. Or at least that's my theory. :)

Above all else, I prefer grass fed vs conventional, and soon hope to get into dry aging some beef in the fridge for a few days. A friend tells me this is do-able at home, tho the notion of leaving perfectly good beef uncovered in the fridge kind of skeeves me out a bit.

I wonder if the person (who had no idea what Hebrew Nationals taste like) has ever eaten bagels or cream cheese or anything else remotely "Jewish."