I’ve professionally tested and tried numerous food products and meals, some leaving my taste buds pleasured but not wow’d, still, others leaving me feeling underwhelmed, and some food items leaving me questioning how or why they even made it to market.
Had you told me a roundish hotdog (yes, you read correctly, a roundish hotdog!) would be something that surprised me positively in its taste and clever shape, and on top of that made me wonder why this wasn’t a thing sooner, well, I would scoff. How could a misshaped hot dog hold so much power over me? Could a hotdog, no matter the shape, be so memorable and tasty? Had I found a new contender for valuable grill space?
Yes, yes, and yes.
These circular ridged wonders come from Rastelli’s, a company that is a purveyor of sustainable meat and seafood and delivers it straight to your door.
Shape aside, the taste beats even the tastiest conventional hot dog. That’s because these dogs aren’t just emulsified meat trimmings of chicken, beef, or pork. Rastelli’s has patented their process of creating these dogs from chopped black Angus beef and premium pork.
The meat mixture remains in a collagen casing to mold the shape while being smoked with a proprietary blend, and it gets oven-baked. As a Rastelli spokesperson explains after the casing is removed, “the meat becomes more permeable, allowing the flavor of the condiments to really sink into the round dog.”
This makes for a less rubbery mouthfeel than a regular hotdog or its relative bologna. Speaking of, it would be easy to say or perhaps even a wee reductive to imply Rastelli’s round dog is “just” a dressed up, thick bologna. You wouldn’t be completely wrong but you certainly wouldn’t be right either.
This just slaps the t’buds differently than bologna and hotdogs, both of which are made up of encased pulverized meat. You can taste the superior meat quality in these. There’s a softness to them that I loved especially between a softer hamburger bun. Sure, they don’t have that “snap” to them as regular hotdogs do. However, I would take this mouthfeel to its predecessor any day.
Rastelli’s round dogs grill up beautifully. The flatness of the product makes for a surface area that is charred more evenly and caramelizes better than its more tubular counterpart. Said surface area also means there’s more space for a liberal amount of condiments.
Each ridged round is three ounces meaning the approximate equivalent to two flattened conventional hot dogs. They arrive frozen and once thawed, they take about 5 to 6 minutes to grill though.
You can order these from Rastelli’s website at https://www.rastellis.com.See what other meats you can get for grilling season by reading Meal Matchmaker’s Best Mail Order Steaks Reviews & Buyer’s Guide