Let the word ring out across the land: President Barack Obama has declared that once you are past third grade, you must stop putting ketchup on hot dogs.
On Sunday’s season premiere of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown,” the president discussed food and foreign policy over noodles with the celebrity chef in Vietnam.
Somehow the talk turned from the bowls of bun cha pork and noodles in front of them to the ballpark favorite.
“Is ketchup on a hot dog ever acceptable?” Bourdain asked the leader of the free world in an episode taped in May.
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“No,” the president quickly responded. “I mean that ... that’s one of those things like, well, let me put it this way, it’s not acceptable past the age of 8.”
Bam. Obama out.
Some hot dog fans got a little steamed, though.
On the “Today” show Monday morning, Hoda Kotb declared, “I consider a hot dog a vehicle for ketchup.”
This isn’t the first time the president has weighed in on proper hot dog condiments.
Bear in mind that in his early 20s he moved to Chicago, where the proper dog is powered by mustard.
In June 2011 Obama had lunch at Rudy’s Hot Dog in Toledo, Ohio, with the city’s mayor, Michael Bell, according to CBS Chicago.
The president ordered a chili dog.
When the subject of ketchup came up, Obama emphatically declared, “You shouldn’t put ketchup on your hot dog.”
CBS Chicago beefed up his argument by pointing out two things.
One: The definitive book about the world of hot dogs is called “Never Put Ketchup on a Hot Dog.”
And, popular Chicago Reader “Straight Dope” columnist Cecil Adams once wrote that, gastronomically speaking, there is a good reason to avoid ketchup on a hot dog.
“Ketchup smothers the flavor of the hot dog because ketchup makers add sugar to their products,” he wrote. “That takes the edge off the highly acidic tomatoes, but it takes the edge off everything else, too.”
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