Growing up in Latin America, one of the most anticipated moments of my life, not unlike Coronel Aureliano Buendía greeting ice for the first time, was vacationing to the US during the summer and enjoying "American" treats like hamburgers and hot dogs. Much like Gabriel García Márquez's latter-day personal politics, hot dogs were, well, a bit of a disappointment.
Whether grilled or boiled, the simple charm of mustard and ketchup on a cold bun was lost on my discerning third world palate. Where were the toppings? The gravity-defying towers of crisp accoutrements and flowing rivers of sauce? Where was the flavor? The joie de vivre?
Why would such a progressive and advanced country like the United States sit around so peacefully accepting such bland fare? Had they finally gone full Brit? This was, after all, the '80s and the massive hordes of largely unwanted Latinos had not quite rooted themselves as deeply as they have now, bringing with them their many-splendored flavors into the culinary siege of America.
But fear not mis queridos gringos, for National Hot Dog Day, we have five tasty variations on your favorite form of tube meat that you, yes you, can make at home this Sunday. Fun for the whole family! Your taste buds will thank you.