A Hot Dog Destiny

One thing my picky eater son is sure to eat is a good ole hot dog. I grew up eating one brand that is still my guilty pleasure. It’s called Sahlen’s and like Gennessee Cream Ale, you can only get this dog in upstate NY. In fact, you can’t even get it East of Rochester, NY-Syracuse has its own famous brand.

I started giving my son Applegate Farms chicken hot dogs one day-they’re nitrate-free, organic, hormone-free, yada yada yada. He loved them intensely and I felt I had found a food I could give him every day and not worry about. Each dog is 70 calories and has 4.5 grams of fat. Here are the exact ingredients in one of these dogs:

Organic Chicken, Water, Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Sea Salt, Sodium Lactate (From Beets), Organic Onion Powder, Organic Spices, Organic Paprika.

On the Sahlen’s website, on the other hand, they don’t really discuss nutrition exactly. The FAQ focuses on more important concerns like, “How can I get Sahlen’s if I don’t live in Western NY?” and “How many hot dogs are in the 3 and 5 lb packs?” I mean isn’t this what we should be worried about? I digress here for a second, but these are the best dogs I have ever had and they bring back memories of Bills’ games and backyard BBQs!

But alas, I can’t give my kid a Sahlen’s every day as I imagine they must be alot worse than the 70 calorie, 4.5 grams of fat, organic chicken dog he eats. I don’t know for sure, but I’m just guessing. Lucky for me, he didn’t really know about a Sahlen’s or what it meant for a long while, so I avoided the issue of choice all together. Until one day, we ran out of the Applegates and had to dig into the special reserve stash of Sahlen’s in the deep freezer in the garage. This is the place where only my husband goes-he even has a key hidden somewhere special, near the extra house keys for when we get locked out. We were saving these dogs for a big event -our first BBQ of the season where we plan to invite all of the neighbors over for a taste of home, served with a couple of Labbatt’s Blues and Genny Cream Ales. But we gave in and boiled up (normally a sin-these pups are to be grilled only) a Sahlen’s for the boy and what do you think he did? Ate three and won’t go back. Now it’s just, “Can I have a Buffalo hot dog???” It’s nice to see a tradition carrying on…!

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