Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hebrew Nationals (commercial brand)

I've never understood the Hebrew disposition for hot dogs, but I'm not going to complain.  This company makes some of the finest commercial brand hot dogs available in the US, and to that I'll say, "L'chaim!" 

Apparently these hot dogs have been on the market for over 100 years, and they've been fairly strict about keeping the same standards and quality for their product the entire time.  They've also kept the somewhat cheeky tagline to their products "we answer to a higher authority", a bold move in a mostly secular world of commerce.  Also, for those that care to know, National Brand foods is now owned by ConAgra Inc.

Religious and commercial affiliations aside, these dogs are made from high quality ingredient and contain no fillers, by-products, artificial colors or flavors, just delicious meat that's been blessed by a rabbi and meets the cleanliness standards upheld by kosher law.  A side note, however, orthodox Jews in the US that follow the guidlines of Glatt Kosher should be warned that there is some dispute as to whether or not the standards are strict enough.  More's the pity as they are missing out on a tasty treat.

 Hebrew Nationals come with some variety, including Regular Beef Franks, Reduced Fat, and Jumbo Size.  All are basically the same product.  They also sell a Polish Sausage and Knockwurst that are truly excellent.

Okay, let's talk stastistics: 

The Item: 4-5/5
I'm not being intentionally wishy/washy about my rating of this dog, it's simply that the quality varies significantly depending on the type that you get.  The Regular Beef Franks are good, but I find the meat/bun ration lacking, if you are going for a standard hot dog get at least jumbo sized if not 1/4 pound.  The polish sausage is basically the same only....better.  It gets the 5 out of 5 rating, it's got a nice hint of spice and flavor that is just a little lacking in the regular dog, but both are delicious and worth giving a try.

Value: 3/5
As they say, you get what you pay for and Hebrew Nationals are a high quality dog with a price point to match.  Prices will vary from store to store, but for a regular 7 pack,  they usually run around $5.99.  I go for the 1/4 dogs my self, 4 to a pack, and they are $7.99, basically $2 per dog.  Not great, but not the worst either.

Other: 4/5
There's not often much to put in this category for commercial brands, but I like the lack of artificial ingredients and by-products, though I'd be more impressed if they went so far as to offer a certified organic product as well.  And they're Kosher, of course, a bonus if that's important to you.

Overall Score: 5/5
As I said, some of the finest commercial hot dogs on the market, if you are looking for quality, start here.

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