An (almost) perfect pairing...


An (almost) perfect pairing...

A few months ago I mused about one of my favorite beer and food pairings, hot dogs with yellow mustard paired with Sunshine Wheat.  This pair has everything, complimentary flavors, ease of preparation and just enough of that low-brow shenanigan to have mass appeal.  I was in heaven then and I should be in heaven now because the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile just stopped by the brewery!  That's right, a giant hot dog driven by a real person pulled into the New Belgium parking lot.  Let's face it, I love anything that looks like food, but huge.  Just look at the really large pretzel necklace I wore to GABF in last week's post, or that gi-normous cherry on a gi-normous spoon in Minneapolis (pictured to your right with the Tour de Fat crew in 2009).  So when this gargantuan grandstander pulled into the lot I got gitty with glee (and alliteration).  I saw this as a perfect opportunity to launch the Sunshine Wheat/ hot dog pair into the internet stratosphere!  I went running (literally) to the Wienermobile.  Upon getting to the Wienermobile I realized that in my haste I had forgotten the Sunshine, so I went running back to the Brewery, inside I grabbed a sixer of SW and then went running again towards the fortuitous frankfurter. 

Back at the giant hot dog I was told that normal sized hot dogs will not be made available.  With further questioning I was let in on the meanest joke of all time, the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile does not give away hot dogs.  In fact the Wienermobile is not even equipped to cook cylindrical sirloins for even the most rabid fan.  Downtrodden (and weighed down by the seemingly useless six pack of Sunshine Wheat), I hung my head and started to wonder if the perfect beer and food pairing would ever go viral.

I decided, right there in the parking lot that I would not let this cruel joke sway me from trying.  I figured that maybe the giant wiener paired with a Sunshine six pack in photos would be enough.  So here is my attempt, in full go-ahead mode:

Tonight, after work (or whatever you may find yourself doing in the pre-dinner hours) go to the grocery shop and purchase a ten pack of delicious Oscar Mayer Wieners and a dozen of your favorite hot dog buns (an aside, this is a link to an awesome post about the 10 pack of dogs versus the 12 pack of bun conundrum facing many tubed meat enthusiasts).  When you arrive home prepare your dogs in the method that suits you best.  I prefer the straight forward boiling water approach, but you may like the bar-b-que, or maybe even the microwave (warning: microwaving hot dogs may drain the nutritional value directly out of the dog and into the atmosphere (and you may want avoid that)).  Once cooked place the steaming hot dog into the pre-opened bun (toasted if you like). The next step is a very important one, mustard selection.  Some of you may prefer the fancy brown or spicy mustards (I like to call them boutique mustards) but let me caution you away from this choice.  It is in the best interest of the beer and food pairing to go with straight "yellow mustard" (of the French's variety).  Take the squeeze bottle of that French's Classic Yellow Mustard and drizzle three fine lines across the dog laden bun.  As your mustard is becoming more viscous on the hot meat and soaking further into the bun proceed to the refrigerator and extract one bottle of Sunshine Wheat.  Crack the beer and pour it into your favorite beer glass.  With the plated up dog and glassed up beer in hand mosey over to the table and mentally prepare yourself for the pairing of the century.

As you take in the hot dog's first bite chew thoughtfully, take in the light spice of the mustard and the warm fragrance of the dog.  Notice how the bun playfully dries out the mouthfeel.  Right when that dryness of the bun is coming to a head and you still have a partial mouthful of masticated hot dog take a swig of that Sunshine.  Feel how the beer reinvigorates the bite, moistens it back to perfection.  The orange peel and coriander of the Sunshine start to wrap themselves around the mustard spice.  Finish chewing and then swallow, your mouth is awash with wonderment.  Take a minute now and lean back, enjoy the first interaction with the pair because the rest of that hot dog and beer will not take very long to finish.

Now, I wish (in my heart of hearts) that the Wienermobile and I could have shared this together, but alas, it was almost a perfect pair.


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