Mustard and onions? Wrapped in a crispy cornbread batter? Served with relish on a poppy seed bun?
Take your pick, hot dogs are a popular food in America, and with consumers planning to eat more than seven billion of them between Memorial Day and Labor Day, everyone is bound to have a favorite method of preparation.
According to a new poll conducted online in April 2014 among 2,100 U.S. adults ages 18 and older by Harris Poll for the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, 46% of respondents say a corn dog is their favorite preparation, while New York's mustard and onions dogs came in at second with 38%.
A Chicago dog – dressed with mustard, onions, relish, tomato slices, a dill pickle spear, a sport pepper and celery salt, all on a poppy seed bun – was third, at 26%.
"Americans have long loved corn dogs at county and state fairs where they first emerged, but their national popularity surprised us," said Janet Riley, NHDSC President. "Historically, they faced tough competition from the hometown favorites in New York and Chicago.
"We clearly underestimated the allure of the deep fried corn meal batter combined with the snap of the hot dog," she said.
The difference might be generational, as polling found that among those that have a favorite, corn dogs were the clear favorite amongst 18-34 year olds, with 55% choosing corn dogs while for Americans between 55-64 years of age, New York hot dogs remained the favorite at 49%.
But no matter the age or regional preference, hot dogs will be a popular choice for Americans this summer. Over the Independence Day holiday alone, Americans are expected to eat 150 million hot dogs.
"The summer grilling season is to hot dog fans what Christmas is to kids," said Riley. "It's an American tradition and whether you are at a barbecue, baseball game or in your backyard, odds are that hot dogs will be on the menu."