Wacky Canadians now have their own hot dog rules

Photo: George De Sota, Theo Wargo, Nicholas Hunt, Frazer Harrison, Jason Merritt/TERM, Oleksii Liskonih (Getty Images)

Canadians! They’re so wacky, what with their universal health care and tolerant society. They have a reputation for being so nice! (Famous joke: Why don’t Canadians have group sex? Too many thank-you notes to write afterward.) As someone who grew up in Toronto, I can attest to many of these stereotypes. What I didn’t know was that Canadians apparently had a set of hot dog rules.

Photo: Irina_Qiwi (iStock)
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Sure, some would say that Canadians don’t actually have hot dog rules, and that this set of “Canadian Hot Dog Etiquette” is actually a marketing ploy by a Canadian sausage company trying to garner some publicity. And you would be right.

Nevertheless, there are some interesting insights about rules of Canadian hot dog engagement which you may not be familiar. According to this PDF:

  • Gravy and cheese curds are acceptable toppings. This is in reference to poutine, a dish although is venerated as Canadian, is not something most Canadians actually consume with frequency. It’s a bit like what deep dish pizza is for Chicagoans—served mainly for tourists who want to prove on Instagram they visited Canada. In the context of a hot dog, however, this is a terrific idea: Perhaps the rest of the world should consider adding gravy and cheese curds on a hot dog.
  • You can eat hot dogs in Canada with gloves. Okay, I suppose this is acknowledgment that Canada gets cold.
  • Ketchup on hot dogs is fine. The authors of this wrongly writes that “While many Americans shun ketchup on hot dogs.” This is a gross mischaracterization of Americans—it’s mostly just Chicagoans, and it’s a dumb provincial thing.
  • Hot dogs are not a sandwich. Well, plenty of notable people (albeit not Canadians) will firmly disagree with you on this matter.

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About the author

Kevin Pang

Kevin Pang was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace on Netflix.