Ketchup confessions from Chicago hot dog lovers

Two diametrically opposed hot-dog lovers bare their souls on the controversial condiment.

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Ketchup, baby:

For years, ketchup, I have loved you in silence. But I can hold my tongue no longer. Everywhere I go in Chicago, our union is frowned upon. We have shared a love that dare not speak its name. Never mind, I’m coming out with it: A Chicago dog is even better with ketchup. I’m tired of asking sheepishly for ketchup “for my fries” and then furtively applying it to my dog once I’m out of view of the counter person. Never again will I apply a line of ketchup to the bun underneath the hot dog in an attempt to hide my shame. Yes, I also love mustard, sport peppers, neon-green relish and the lot. But if I could have only one condiment on a hot dog for the rest of my days, it would be you, ketchup. I know you’re no good for me: all that high-fructose corn syrup—and forget about the sodium. I wish I knew how to quit you. But I can’t face a hot dog without you. —Ruth Welte

K:

Hey there. Look, this isn’t going to be pretty, so I’ll just say it. I’ve fallen out of love with you—
Wait, don’t go, hear me out. See, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that I’m starting to develop, well, different tastes.
Oh. You know already. I see you found the condiment wrappers.
Look, I need something substantial in my life. Something that isn’t bitter or foul. I mean, you park yourself in the fridge every single day. It’s disgusting. And don’t get me started on how hard it is to truly move you—I’m the one doing all the banging.
No, I don’t think the solution is to bring Col. Mustard into the equation. Sick.
It’s been nice, but in Heinz-sight, I think you’ll see this was for the best. For 57 different reasons. Tomato, tomahto, eh?—Steve Heisler


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