I'm a flexitarian (mostly veg, but sometimes meat), but these lips haven't touched the flesh of a four-legged animal for years. And so I approached the impending arrival of the-- the Ice Dog Sandwich -- with a mix of trepidation and awe.
This is a frozen treat that shouldn't exist, and yet it does. It's defiant. It's so, so wrong. It's delicious. I know because I ate one.
It's one thing to see a photo of this mind-boggling concoction, made with spicy dijon gelato and candied hot dog bits; it's another to reckon first hand with its sheer audaciousness of being.
Meat-loving brand Oscar Mayer firston Aug. 1. What fresh hell is this, some of us wondered. Get in my belly, said others. I viewed it like you would a deep-fried scorpion on a stick: repellent, yet compelling.
Oscar Mayer created the Ice Dog in partnership with the New York City boutique ice cream company il laboratorio del gelato. The mission was clear: re-create the Oscar Mayer hot dog experience in the form of an ice cream sandwich.
My Ice Dogs arrive on a blazing day in New Mexico inside a square FedEx box labeled "perishable." I open the Styrofoam container and deliver two squishy, leaking silver-wrapped sandwiches into my freezer. I can almost hear them sigh with relief.
I wait for the refreeze. Then I unwrap one. It's not much of a looker. The colors are pale. Little meat chunks sit suspended in the hot dog sweet cream.
Trembling, I take a bite. Sweetness. Childhood memories of the sugary syrup from pickle relish soaking into a bun. The mustard arrives, floating across the back of my palate and into my sinuses. Finally, the salty savory flavor of an Oscar Mayer hot dog, like a secret whispered between the parallel sheets of the cookie bun.
I don't want to like the Ice Dog Sandwich. It sugar-coats the experience of eating a hot dog. This shouldn't work, but here I am eating the whole thing.
I stare at this living embodiment of a marketing stunt, slowly freezing the skin on my fingertips, and feel like a kid running through the grass at a picnic, hot dog in hand, pausing only to laugh or take another bite.
Damn it, Ice Dog Sandwich, what have you done to me?