Bruce Kreig, author of Hot Dog, enthusiastically tells the history of this American icon—from its humble German-immigrant origins to the development of signature toppings. Hosted at the Roger Smith Hotel, Chef Daniel Mowles put his gourmet touch onto the regional specialties we tried. Pictured left is the Coney Island hot dog, which had onions, yellow mustard, and chili on top. The secret ingredient in the chili was beef hearts, which, everyone agreed, made it indescribably delicious (see more pics from this event here). Tasting these hot dogs brought me back to the Fancy Food show in July, where I had some amazing samples from D’artagnan. All four of their varieties are excellent—duck, beef, pork and buffalo (photo, right). I highly recommend them for your next barbecue, as they are skinless, fully cooked, raised on an all-vegetable feed, without growth hormones, antibiotics or nitrates in the mix. Excellent with or without toppings.