Part I: The Dilemma
As the blazing mid-June heat bore down on me, I was caught in a conundrum. Do I fire up the grill, cognizant of the full gravitas of outdoor cuisine and the condiments it rightfully warrants? Do I dress burger after burger, mechanical in my denial, til the autumn chill nudges me back indoors.... or do I crack under the pressure, and shun the burger, tempted by my desire to adorn each patty with a certain condiment, but paralyzed by my disgust and condemnation of HFCS.
Not one to back down from a challenge, I did the only thing I could do in this situation. I made my own...
Part II: The Test Kitchen
flash forward 4 hours, one 28 oz can of tomatoes and various other mystery spices later...
Part III: The Taste Test
Can you tell the difference? Well yeah, you probably can. But that's sort of The Point, ya know?
The Sous Chef could smell the offending sample 3 feet away, whereas the new and improved HFCS-free version had a pleasant, vine-ripened aroma. The texture? Well mine was less viscous (but just barely)-- however I attribute that to the notable absence of HFCS AND CS (I have no idea why you need both).
Part IV: The Finale
The end result was just as tasty, if not MORE tasty than your run-of-the-mill ballpark weener. And it didn't hurt that we used grass-fed uncured beef hot dogs topped with my own sweet pickle relish. With every bite the cloud of uncertainty lifted. Summer would continue as planned.