How do you top your natural, organic or vegetarian hot dog?

The answer may depend on where you live. Regional favorites include:

  • New York—spicy mustard, sauerkraut
  • Chicago—cucumber, tomato, pickle, onion, pickle relish, celery salt
  • South—coleslaw, mustard, onions
  • Seattle—cream cheese, onions
  • Southwest—corn relish, bacon
  • Greek-style—sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives
  • Midwest—melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut
  • California-style—guacamole, sprouts, sunflower seeds

For me, nothing beats the basics: organic mustard, relish and fresh onions. Other family members opt for organic ketchup and sauerkraut. Here’s what you’ll find on my summer shopping list:

  1. Heinz Organic Ketchup
  2. Annie’s Organic Yellow Mustard
  3. Cascadian Farm Organic Sweet Relish
  4. Eden Organic Sauerkraut

Whichever toppings you choose, dress the dog—not the bun. Apply condiments to the dog in the following order:

  1. Wet condiments (mustard, chili)
  2. Chunky condiments (relish, onions, sauerkraut)
  3. Shredded cheese
  4. Spices (celery salt, pepper)

Photo courtesy of Boar’s Head