I was out with some friends on the weekend when this topic came up , and there were some pretty solid arguments for and against the claim that “hot dogs are just Mexican tacos.” I did a little research and found out this is a huge thing right now on the internet, so I thought I would set some facts straight for everyone. I will not place my opinion here, as I will let you formulate that on your own, but merely put the facts on the table for everyone to decide for themselves. Let’s hope this is not another one of those “is water wet?” conundrums….
Lets start but identifying the layers of food associated here:
The Outer Layer
Ok, fundamentally, the way a hot dog bun wraps around the meat and toppings of a hotdog is quite similar to the way a taco shell is around the taco meat and toppings. However, the differences are still quite noticable:
1) The taco shells are hard and normally made of corn, not wheat, therefore the “casing,” if you will, is made form different products.
2) There are also soft tacos, that have a “casing” that wraps around the taco completely that can be made out of wheat OR corn. Would these be classified as burritos? – Wait a second here, lets classify the hot dog / taco fiasco first.
However, even with these differences, tacos and hot dogs are quite similar in that:
1) The way the meat sits in a hot dog is the same as in a taco: the ‘casing’ is usually on either side of the dog, with the crease of the ‘casing’ at the bottom that connects the 2 “halves.”
2) The way the 2 foods are eaten are quite similar: usually holding it with 2 hands, tilting your head a little as you stuff your face with bread/bun/topping cornucopia of awesomeness.
Now, some you out there might be like “But what about the Cube Rule of Food?” For those of you that don’t know, the Cube Rule of Food is a rule of food categorization in relation to the placement of starch. I won’t sit here and explain the rule, but pretty much the theory is that any food that has starch on 3 sides of it is considered a taco. Would you look at that, hot dogs have starch on 3 sides! WOAH…does that mean…..HOT DOGS REALLY ARE TACOS?!? If you follow the Cube Rule of Food, it would seem so…but lets break the rules, shall we?
The Meat Layer
Alright, so almost everyone can agree that the meat inside a taco is NORMALLY different that that inside a hot dog. I know, I know, some of you will disagree and say it doesn’t matter what’s inside the “casing,” but some people believe ‘it’s what’s inside that counts.’ Whether it’s ground beef, steak, fish, chicken, tofu, whatever, it USUALLY is not cylindrical and made of – well, lets not discuss what hot dogs are REALLY made of…. we want this to be educational, not vomit-inducing. You could argue that you can just cut up hot dog meat and put it inside a taco and therefore you would have a taco made of hot dog, but who in the world would ever want to do THAT?
The Toppings Layer
This layer is very subjective to each individual and cannot really be used as a great arguing point. Typically, the toppings on a hot dog
(mustard, mayo, relish, ketchup, etc) are different than those on a taco (lettuce, salsa, sour cream, tomatoes) but what about chili dogs? They have cheese on them, and tomatoes too, similarities that hot dogs and taco’s normally share. On that note, if the chili is made with ground beef, then technically you are putting ground beef inside a hot dog bun, which would make your hot dog seem a little bit more like a taco, don’t you think?
YOU make the decision – Is a hot dog a taco? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!