Danish Hot Dog aka Copenhagen Hot Dog

2016-02-12
danish hot dog or copenhagen hot dog
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The Danish hot dog or Copenhagen hot dog is not just another hot dog.  It starts with an extra-long, juicy sausage that is beech wood smoked and has a distinctive “snap” to it. While the sausage looks like an extra long hot dog, it’s actually a Danish pølse. Unlike an American hot dog, a pølse has a slightly sweet, savory, smokey flavor that hits you at the first bite. The taste comes from the unique Danish combination of spices like allspice, nutmeg, and cardamom, and the smoky flavor comes from smoking the pølse for hours. It’s Danish perfectionism in sausage form.

Pølses come in two colors: red or brown. The purists in Denmark go for the røde pølse (red sausage), as it is the most traditional in Denmark, with its bright red color. According to Martin Høedholt, owner of Revolving Dansk, they are best when lightly boiled in water with garlic, onion and a splash of vinegar and just a little bacon to make them ultra juicy with a smoky bacon flavor. On the other hand, the brown grillpølse (grilled sausage) is a favorite at the pølsevogn (sausage wagon) in Copenhagen, grilled to perfection with a crispy skin. In reality, though, both can be boiled or grilled.

Regardless of which sausage you select, a proper Danish hot dog requires a toasty bun, a red or brown pølse cooked the right way, and the toppings applied in the right order. A traditional Danish hot dog is topped with a thin line of ketchup, then a line of mustard, and then a line of Danish remoulade. Next, it is topped with chopped white onions, and a heap of fried onions. Lastly, it is topped with sweet, crisp sweet Scandinavian pickles. The result is a wonderful combination of sweet, savory, salty, and crispy in every bite. It’s what Danes call perfection.

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