Ladies and gentlemen, gather 'round because it's time to talk about one of Chicago's most beloved delicacies: the Chicago-style hot dog. This iconic dish has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century, and it's a story that's filled with as much flavor as the hot dog itself.

It all started during the Great Depression, when a group of enterprising street vendors decided to get creative with their hot dog offerings. They piled on all sorts of toppings, from the traditional ketchup and mustard to more unconventional options like pickles, onions, and sport peppers. The result was a hot dog that was both delicious and filling, and it quickly became a hit with the city's residents.

The Washington Post, Getty Images
The Washington Post, Getty Images

As the years went by, the Chicago-style hot dog continued to evolve and gain popularity. In the 1950s, a man named Abe "Fluky" Levy opened a hot dog stand on the city's south side, and it quickly became a staple of the local food scene. It was there that the legendary Chicago Dog was born, with its unique combination of toppings that included a pickle spear, tomato slices, onions, sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt, all on a steamed poppyseed bun.

The Chicago Dog was so popular that it soon spread beyond the city limits, and it's now a beloved dish across the country. But make no mistake, there's nothing quite like biting into a freshly made Chicago Dog while standing on a street corner in the Windy City.

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Getty Images

But what makes a Chicago Dog truly "Chicago style"? It's all about the toppings, baby. You see, unlike other hot dog styles, the Chicago Dog is all about the toppings, with the dog itself playing second fiddle. Sure, it's an important part of the equation, but it's the toppings that really make this hot dog sing. And when it comes to toppings, there's no room for skimping. A true Chicago Dog has to have that pickle spear, those tomato slices, those onions, those sport peppers, and that sprinkle of celery salt. If it ain't got that, it ain't a Chicago Dog.

Now, I know some of you may be thinking, "But wait, what about the ketchup? Don't Chicagoans put ketchup on their hot dogs?" Let me tell you, folks, if you're putting ketchup on a Chicago Dog, you're doing it wrong. Ketchup is a hot dog abomination and has no place on a Chicago Dog. If you absolutely must have ketchup, we suggest you try a different style of hot dog.

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But enough about toppings, let's talk about the bun. A Chicago Dog must be served on a steamed poppyseed bun. Not sesame seed, not plain, not whole wheat, poppyseed. The steaming process makes the bun soft and fluffy, and the poppyseeds add a nice little crunch. It's the perfect vessel for all those delicious toppings.

Now, some of you may be wondering, "What about the dog itself? What kind of sausage is used in a Chicago Dog?" The answer is simple: an all-beef hot dog. It's gotta be beef, and it's gotta be of high quality. A Chicago Dog is a simple dish, but it's made up of high-quality ingredients.

In conclusion, the Chicago-style hot dog is a beloved delicacy that has a rich history dating back to the Great Depression. It's a combination of delicious toppings, a steamed poppyseed bun, and an all-beef hot dog. It's a simple dish, but it's made up

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