The hotdog is found all over the world, with many variations in the toppings; in fact, the only thing every hotdog variant has in common is the inclusion of a sausage – that’s as specific as it gets. The hotdog we all think of, the frankfurter in a long bun topped with onions, ketchup and mustard, is the New York version; this naturally has its roots in Germany, where the frankfurter is served without a bun, but with potato salad and sauerkraut.
Germany, though, is not the only place to serve the sausage without a bun. In the Philippines it is served with banana ketchup and a fried egg. In Peru, it’s chips and mayo; Idaho uses a baked potato rather than a bun and tops it with sour cream, chives, and bacon bits. Norway uses a tortilla, while Sweden covers the sausage in shrimp, salad, and onions, and then encases it all in mashed potato. Others, like Sweden, also go the full hog, and, instead of using something to hold the sausage, wrap it entirely in a casing: Hawaii encases the sausage in a soft roll; Korea fries it like a corn dog with added fries on the outside; the Czech Republic pushes the sausage through the roll; China encases the sausage in a dumpling-like dough.
When it comes to the fillings, that’s where the real variations take place. While frankfurters are the most common sausages used, the traditional British hotdog is a British sausage or even a Cumberland sausage and chips, the Argentine version uses a chorizo, Seattle a bratwurst, and in Cleveland they use a Polish kielbasa. Even if the sausage of choice is a frankfurter, many wrap it in bacon, while in Baltimore they coat it in bolognese. Of course, additional meat can be added as a topping – Michigan, for instance, adds chilli beef.
Some, like the French, who just add gruyere and then melt it, keep their toppings simple; others really go all out. Cleveland adds French fries and coleslaw, Vietnam uses pickled vegetables, the US state of Georgia adds cheese, chilli, chopped onion, sliced pickles, oyster crackers, ketchup and mustard, while, in Seattle, cream cheese and raw cabbage are just two of the toppings. Sonora uses avocado chunks and mayonnaise among other things and, in Chicago, the toppings include celery salt, neon green relish and a whole pickled pepper.
The subject of this week’s recipe, the choripán, is eaten all over South America but is most associated with Argentina. It’s a simple yet delicious hotdog, as you will see, but the same thing can’t be said for other hotdogs in South America. In Brazil, they cover their sausage in pico de gallo, corn, grated Parmesan, shredded carrot, dried ham, coriander and shoe string fries. Both Chile and Guatemala keep their toppings a little simpler and restrict themselves – in Chile to chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut (popular in many countries as a topping), mashed avocado and mayo, and in Guatemala to guacamole, cabbage, chopped onions, mayo and shredded lettuce. But all this is nothing to the hotdog of Colombia, where they pile their sausage high with ketchup, mustard, mayo, crushed crisps and pineapple, finished off with a quails egg that is held in place with a toothpick.
The choripán is a far simpler hotdog and marries that great Spanish sausage, the chorizo, with the Argentine sauce chimichurri.
- 2 cooking chorizos, about 7 or 8 inches long
- Handful of chopped parsley
- 1 dessertspoon of white wine vinegar
- 3 dessertspoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- ¼ red onion sliced
- 2 gloves of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
- 2 lengths of baguette or similar, the same length as the chorizo
Fry the chorizos for about 8-10 mins or as the packaging instructs.
Meanwhile make the chimichurri by combining the parsley, oregano, red onion, pinch of salt and pepper, garlic, vinegar and the olive oil. Then slice the baguette in half lengthways but not all the way through – in effect you are butterflying it. You can grill the bread slightly if you want.
Once the chorizos are cooked, cut them in half lengthways, but again not all the way through – you are just butterflying them. Then place the chorizos inside the bread, spoon over the chimichurri, and serve.