Toppings Make All The Difference In Brazilian-Style Hot Dogs

Brazilian hot dogs with corn
Brazilian hot dogs with corn - henrique ferrera/Shutterstock

A lot of people might consider hot dogs an all-American food. However, many folks around the world would take issue with that, especially in sausage-centric European societies. Regardless, Americans can at least lay claim to Coney Island dogs wrapped in a long steamed bun and piled high with white onions, chili, and lots of mustard. Putting pride aside, however, opens some stunning possibilities for hot-dog nirvana. Specifically, there's a thing called Brazilian-style hot dogs featuring toppings you might not have never imagined.

The dogs and buns may appear similar to ordinary American hot dogs at first glance -- until the parade of toppings march into place. The possible toppings may initially seem incongruous to some. However, dressing a Brazilian hot dog might only require only a repositioning of your brain concerning what "should" get tucked inside a hot dog bun.

Like American-style hot dogs, the Brazilian counterparts have few actual limitations. But they do have norms, with the toppings making all the difference. You'll sometimes find mashed potatoes lining the bun, with options for topping with corn, peas, peppers, diced ham, ground beef, shredded carrots, peppers, Parmesan, crunchy potato sticks, or even a cute little quail's egg. Notice that those are "options," meaning you're unlikely to have more than four or five at time on a single Brazilian dog.

Read more: Common Mistakes Everyone Makes With Hot Dogs

Little Sausages Make Big Brazilian Hot Dogs

Brazilian hot dog with iced tea
Brazilian hot dog with iced tea - Luana Brescovitz/Shutterstock

Before returning to the toppings, it's important to realize that the franks in a Brazilian hot dogs are different as well. Rather than a long beef or pork dog running the length of the bun, you're much more likely to find multiple, short, Vienna sausages tucked inside. Those little lovelies may have been grilled or steamed, depending on the vendor, but they've most likely been simmering in a tomato sauce.

To hold the saucy sausages in place inside the bun, it's common to spread each side with thick mashed potatoes. They can help absorb the sauce and other pile-ons, preventing soggy bread and a messy aftermath. In addition to the customary potato sticks, corn, meats, and more, you'll find regional Brazilian customs such as adding diced olives, bacon, salsa, various cheeses, and what's known as vinagrete, a Brazilian tomato slaw.

If you have a huge appetite and a penchant for extravagance, go all out with completo-style, meaning, as you can imagine, every topping in the chef's Brazilian hot-dog repertoire. In American parlance, that equates to ordering a hot dog with "the works." It's certainly possibly to learn to art of making at-home Brazilian hot dogs, but it's a special treat to have them prepared by an expert. Check out food trucks, which sometimes display the full buffet of toppings and offer them "pressed" in a panini style for easy handling.

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