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Hot Weiners

A type of hot dog popular in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.

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Recently featured on The Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate" program.

  • Jun 16, 2010
Rating:
+5

One of the best things about living in Rhode Island is the food.  Our capital city of Providence truly is a great restaurant cityProvidence is home to one of America's premier culinary arts schools Johnson & Wales University.  Students from across the nation and around the world flock to Providence to attend this highly regarded school and many of them wind up settling in the area.  As such we have a boatload of cooking talent all around us here.  The population is quite diverse as well and you will find lots of great Italian, Portuguese and Asian restaurants to choose from.  But even with all of the great food around here sometimes a person just has a hankering for a hot dog.  Native Rhode Islanders know just where to go to satisfy the insatiable craving for a great hot dog.  Hot wieners have been an institution around these parts since at least the 1920's.  These uniquely Rhode Island dogs are available at dozens of independently owned shops all over the state.  And as Guy Fieri correctly points out in a recent episode of Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate" show these hot dogs just melt in your mouth.  They are that good!

So what makes hot wieners so special and so darn delicious?  Well, for one thing the hot dog itself is made from a mix of veal and pork, thus giving it a distinctively different flavor from your run-of-the-mill beef frank.  It is also important to know that these dogs are not boiled.  Rather, they are grilled on a flat metal surface.  And the buns are steamed which is a very important element of the finished product.  Once the hot dog is placed in the bun it is time for it to be dressed by the cook and this is where the show begins. It was this part of creating the quintessential hot wiener that really freaked out Guy FieriHe had never seen anything quite like it!   Because hot wieners are kind of small people often order 3 or 4 of them at a time.  When they are being dressed you will find the cook balancing as many as a dozen buns along his forearm and applying the toppings with his free hand,  a method called "up the arm" See a photo of this above.  You would think that the Health Department might object but these "wiener joints" have been employing this method for generations.  If you order a wiener "all the way" your dog will be topped by a special meat sauce (the exact recipe remains a secret), yellow mustard, finely chopped onions and just the right amount of celery salt.  Believe me, this is real good eating friends!  And no self-respecting Rhode Islander would order their hot wieners without a great big glass of coffee milk, another Ocean State favorite.  Now if you are really pushing your luck you might also order a heaping plate of french fries which you will dutifully sprinkle with malt vinegar, yet another strange Rhode Island custom that would be foreign to most Americans

Now don't get me wrong.  Hot wieners are not something you are going to want to eat every day.  Around here we lovingly refer to them as "bellybusters".  They will do a real number on you if you eat them more than occasionally.  But every so often they are a real treat and one of tastiest concoctions I have ever eaten.  Guy Fieri would certainly concur.   Very highly recommended! 

Check out the following website for more info      www.olneyvillenewyorksystem.com

Recently featured on The Food Network's Guy Fieri of The Food Network's Guy Fieri of The Food Network's Guy Fieri of The Food Network's

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June 21, 2010
Awesome, awesome review, Paul! I've heard of plenty of styles of hot dogs before, but never this one, so I'm very eager to try it.  I don't know if you've seen my Gourmand community, but it would be really neat if you shared your review there!  After all, there's a danger dog review in there :P  Thanks for sharing!  You just worked me up an appetite!
June 21, 2010
Are you really sure you want this item in a gourmet community? I would be more than happy to put it there but frankly I never thought of hot wieners as gourmet food.
June 21, 2010
Well, to me, a gourmand doesn't just necessarily like "gourmet" foods, just good food, but that's thoughtful of ya!  As long as it's not a wimpy Oscar Meyer wiener :P  Thanks for adding this to my community! :)
 
June 19, 2010
God....I need to get out of the city to get me one of these....maybe even two...or three...LOL! You just made me hungry... thanks! :)
 
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About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

The hot wiener or New York System wiener is a staple of the food culture of Rhode Island.  It is typically made from a small, thin frankfurter made of veal and pork, thus giving it a different taste from a traditional hot dog made of beef. Once placed in a steamed bun, the wiener is topped with a meat sauce seasoned with a myriad of spices like cumin, paprika, chili powder and allspice, which is itself covered in finely chopped onions, celery salt and yellow mustard.

The term New York System originated in the early 1900s, when hot dogs began appearing in Rhode Island but were still associated primarily with New York. Although now referred to exclusively as wieners, "New York System" is still used to advertise the distinct style of preparation refined by Providence's Greek immigrant community in the 1940s.

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