Hotdogs and catsup/ketchup. What's the big deal?

Ketchup on hot dogs is one of those “If only we’d noticed the signs sooner” serial-killer traits. I object to it in public because it might lead a child somewhere to think that that sort of behavior is somehow proper and decent and acceptable by Society.

Won’t somebody think of the children?

Pretty closed-minded for SoCal.

But, who cares, anyway?

The only problem with all that is that it doesn’t just apply to food. It applies to music, fashion, art, mass entertainment, and every other aspects of culture. People are free to violate the conventions of course but it is much more likely that they are ignorant of what is better rather just being a pure individual. I have thought some things in areas I didn’t know about were silly and arbitrary and then I finally listened and found out that it often pays to listen to people that care about a given subject no matter how mundane.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t any snobs around that strive to make fun of people that aren’t in their club. Wine snobs and the modern art community are two that have always ticked me off.

In summary, people don’t usually make this stuff up and image sometimes matters. Ketchup is mostly for seafood, french fries, and kids (do they still make the purple kind?) Tastes have to be cultivated and nurtured. Ketchup steals your tongue’s IQ.

Eww! Shagnasty, I’ll give you fair warning – you come within a mile of my Maine lobster with that ketchup bottle, and I will get violent!

My upbringing says make guests feel comfortable and invite them to enjoy their meal. I see your side but that’s given that your purpose for entertaining is different from mine.

I like Nathan’s hot dogs with yellow mustard, though, so I’m a philistine. :wink:

Oh, brother.

Suppose someone just happens to like the taste of Maine lobster with ketchup on it?

What’s that to you?

Mind your own business.

That’s it. You’re going on The List!

Both of these are true–but in both directions. Some people genuinely DO like the taste of ketchup on hot dogs (the tomatoes offer both a fruity high note along with meaty esters, even if it is terribly sweet). And some people prefer the image of a laid-back, unpretentious person to the image of the food savant.

Some people don’t. I’ll politely turn down lagers, for example, because I know that I’ve almost never enjoyed a lager; this means that I get teased sometimes as a beer snob, and I’m cool with that. But image matters, and in that respect, I choose to value the image less than I value the taste of beer. If you’re willing to give up the image of a laid-back friendly person in order to avoid the taste of ketchup on hot dogs, that’s a perfect legitimate choice :).


You might want to a) lighten up, and b) read for comprehension. You’ll notice (actually you didn’t) that I said my Maine lobster.

It’s an image I’ll gladly sacrifice. Ketchup on hot dogs is like picking your nose: disgusting, and frowned on in Polite Society. Not something that is done in public, if at all.

Remember, just because you like it that way doesn’t make it right, correct or proper. (Yes, this applies to me, too. It bloody well applies to everybody!)
eta: I’m hoping the reference to ketchup and seafood was a comment on cocktail sauce for shrimp, and not in any way advocating ketchup on Sole Meuniere.

You always help guests to have the most comforatble time possible when they are at your house. That doesn’t mean that you have to invite them back.

Let’s say you invite an aquaintence and SO over to your house one night. They catch a glipse of the (turned off) TV and ask to watch NASCAR in the background. They start singing along to commercials when they come on. When you show them a prized piece of antique furniture, they suggest that it would look great with a coat of semi-gloss on it. You bought a very nice bottle of wine which everyone enjoys except the wife. She finds that it works much better on the rocks with a splash of orange juice. You made a nice dinner of prime rib, homemade mashed potatoes and carrots. Your guests love it after they chop everything to bits and mix it all together before they start eating.
They may have had a good time but they aren’t coming back even though some people would defend each of these actions individually.

People always get so holier than thou in these threads which I think is ridiculous. Everyone has things they care about and would find it offputting if others just blatantly ignored common sense and taste when interacting on those. You don’t shoot them but you can disregard them at least in that way.

It was regarding fried seafood like popcorn shrimp and maybe things like catfish.

That lobster and catchup reference above had a good upchuck factor though.

If you’re proposing it as an established rule of polite society, you’re just wrong. It’s no more incorrect than, say, drinking Bud Lite is incorrect. Indeed, ketchup is the second-most used condiment on hot dogs in the US, coming in behind only mustard. And many regional variations include ketchup.

I know you’d LIKE for it to be a sign of bad manners–many people want to universalize our own tastes–but it just ain’t so, bud :).


Well, obviously I didn’t imagine the scenario where someone would run up to your plate of Maine lobster at your table and attempt to slather it with ketchup .

I myself would probably object if someone was trying to diddle with my plate, whether it be with ketchup, melted butter, lemon juice or even a second helping of Maine lobster.

My take on this is that when you said “my Maine lobster” you meant any serving of Maine lobster that you were aware of, not merely your own.

Nope, when I said “my”, what I meant was “my.”

Heh–I think that sentence contains some serious dramatic irony.

Yes, if you value your image as a hot dog connoisseur to the same degree that you value your image as a collector of antiques, then sure, it’d be insulting for someone to ask for ketchup on your Chicago-style hot dog, just as surely as it’d be insulting for you to refuse ketchup on the Filipino-style dog they might try to serve you next week.

Which is to say, not very insulting at all to most people, but if you’re really determined to show your high breeding through either insisting upon, or forbidding, ketchup, then here’s your chance to do so.


I aims to please. :wink:

I can’t even imagine ketchup with popcorn shrimp or catfish. Fishsticks, possibly, but I’d go to great lengths to procure tartar sauce first.


They may have had a good time but they aren’t coming back even though some people would defend each of these actions individually.

People always get so holier than thou in these threads which I think is ridiculous…[/QUOTE]

But, that’s just what you’re doing. getting all holier-than-thou.

If your guests ( who I imagine must be friends or business aqquaintances), enjoy chopping up your well-prepared meal, well, what’s so wrong? You are their host, your duty is to provide for their enjoyment.

When you have guests/friends, your pride comes second. Their enjoyment comes first.

Absolutely agreed. Catfish is best served fried, with optional toppings of vinegar-based hot sauce or lemon juice or cocktail sauce (preferred in that order). Popcorn shrimp reverses the preferred order exactly. Ketchup is NOT a preferred option.

If my guests chose ketchup on them, I’d smile and provide it, and decide whether to invite them back based on their conversation, friendliness, and other factors having nothing to do with what condiments they chose.


Well, then it is kind of not relevant.

You may as well have been talking about a cheeseburger and fries basket.