Hot dogs are not my favorite edible item. My various friends would attest to that. Seetha especially, might have a few memories in this particular regard, and Charu, who finds my avoidance of Mickey D’s irritating, would have even more choice remarks. But given adequate evidence to the contrary, I’ve always given in gracefully, and never has there been a time for a retraction than after my first wurst experience in Vienna. Well, not a full blown retraction, since I’m still not a fan of the all-American hot dog, but I can no longer turn up my nose at these creations. Worse — I’ll just be the wurst snob and only turn up my nose at some of them 😉 (The inspiration for this visit came from a guidebook believe it or not – one called “Only in Vienna” by a guy Duncan Smith, which I got at a museum bookshop).

Wurst is the ultimate Viennese street food, available in little kiosks or hot-dog stands scattered thoughtfully all over town. No pale, boiled pieces of generic meat here to act as vehicles for ketchup, relish and mustard. Well actually they might be in existence too (called frankfurters here and wiener’s in Frankfurt – go figure), but the sheer variety of würstel (plural for wurst) in any given stand, makes this a gourmet-on-the-go experience. Hot-dogs come grilled or boiled, and the thing that sets them apart from their ball park counterparts is that you can actually see the meat. My choice was the “spicy” wurst (obviously), which if I’m not mistaken is a Hungarian hot-dog also called a debreziner. It’s served, as all hot dogs are, in bread with condiments, but there’s an interesting difference. The bread is not sliced, but rather comes prepped with a hollowed out core into which the guy (or woman) at the stand, squirts in your requested condiments (spicy mustard in my case) and then slides in the wurst. I’ll post updates on the different varieties as and when I try them out…

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