I need to tell you about these hot dogs. I first tasted them at the Big Traveling Potluck, a food bloggers conference held last April in Murrietta, Ca. Fork In The Road Foods was a sponsor of the weekend, and we were treated to some of their special hot dogs and a scrumptious Black Forest Ham. (More about their melt-in-your-mouth hams another day)
A few weeks after the conference, I received a package from Fork in the Road Foods including several varieties of their hot dogs, plus an Uncured Honey Maple Ham. This was very nice of them to do…sending me some free meats to try. So I bought a package of hotdog buns and cooked the Honest Dogs with Pasture-Raised Beef from the care package.
I fully expected to try different toppings on the hotdogs, take some really nice photos, and write a blog post about them. I did fix up one hot dog for a photo, and handed it to The Farmer to try.
The bun was grilled in Kerrygold butter, spread with dijon mustard. The Honest Dog™ was heated slowly in a skillet until is began to brown nicely…then I added some fresh guacamole. Once The Farmer got a taste of this meat, the rest of the package disappeared. “Hey, you need to try one of Mom’s new hot dogs!” No one in our family had ever tasted a hot dog so tender and with so much flavor. The fact that these dogs are uncured (no added nitrates or nitrites), made with sustainable family-farmed beef raised with no antibiotics of added hormones makes them stand out above any other hot dogs we have ever eaten.
I wasn’t able to take any more photos of hot dogs that day because the hot dogs were all eaten before I could think about what to put on them. I was mortified. This company was kind enough to send me meat but I couldn’t get a blog post written because people were eating the meat faster than I could blog.
A week later I drove to our nearest Whole Foods store (about 25 miles away in Del Mar) and purchased several more packages of Honest Dogs. Sadly, those too were eaten before I could experiment with toppings. This was beyond embarrassing .
Do other food bloggers have problems with family members eating the tastiest samples before recipes can be worked out and photos taken for a proper blog post? I may need to get a special locked box for our refrigerator, because even though we have plenty of good food for meals, these special hot dogs kept disappearing.
I started reading labels on hot dog packages in our local market. I even tried a different brand of uncured beef hot dog. They just weren’t as good. For now Fork In The Road meats are sold exclusively at Whole Foods stores, so I began looking for excuses to drive over near the beach where all the Whole Foods stores in our area happen to be located.
Yesterday a VERY happy surprise arrived via FedEx. A beautiful box with a styrofoam insert, complete with a cold pack…and (drum roll)…two gorgeous packages of Fork in the Road Honest Dogs™ arrived on my doorstep. Those nice people at Fork In The Roads Foods understood, took pity, and sent me more Honest Dogs™! This time I resolved to write a blog post or die trying!
I hid those packages of Honest Dogs™ in a special corner of the fridge so no one could find them! Today at lunchtime I cooked up 5 of those dogs and finally began dressing each one with different toppings, set up my background and took some photos. The whole time I was doing this “someone” kept asking, “Now can I eat the hot dogs?” I had to bite my tongue…after all, our family members are more important to us than amazing food samples that we want to cook and photograph…right?
Just reading the package makes you feel good: “We’re a community of independent family farmers, chefs, and workers passionately committed to doing what’s right. We never ever take short cuts and always hold ourselves accountable to you and to one another.”
And I will do the right thing too. I’ll make sure I stock up on Honest Dogs™ every time I’m anywhere near a Whole Foods. And here’s hoping that we’ll be able to find them closer to our ranch someday soon!
Thank you, Fork In The Road Foods, for your kindness and your patience. Your meats are truly making a difference in our family.
Disclosure: I accepted gifts from Fork In The Road Foods to sample and use in recipes for my family. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own.