“It’s not just a sausage in a bun; it’s a beautiful blank canvas. It’s a hot dog, which is a foodstuff eaten worldwide. Here are 40 distinctive varieties from around the globe — from iconic NYC ‘dirty water dogs’ to fully loaded South American street-cart dogs to Japanese octo-dogs. There is a tubesteak out there for every craving that ever was.”
The 4th of July is the day of Coney Island’s Hot Dog eating contest and the quintessential day to have a barbeque in the United States. Some see the hot dog as a mere symbol of the uniformity of globalized culture in the 21st century that diffused out from the United States. There is much more to be seen in the globalization of food. Yes, the global goes to the whole world, but distinct places make this global cultural trait intensely local. For example the hot dogs in Cincinnati are famous for being topped with chili and an obscene quantity of cheese, but in Costa Rica, I learned to love eating hot dogs deep fried, topped with cabbage, mayo and ketchup, just like the Ticos. Food is but one example of this phenomena known as glocalization, where diffusion and divergence keep the world both global and local.