Appetizers
July 1, 2008
Frank Talk for the 4th

First, no beer on the rivers on the Fourth of July. Then, no fireworks. Now, reduced-fat hot dogs? That's what awaits guests at this year's Independence Day block parties if the hosts take the advice of the editors of AOL Food. The editors grilled and blind-tasted 50 brands of hot dog, narrowed the field to their favorite 20, and chose Hebrew National Reduced Fat Beef Franks as their No. 1 pick. The regular version of Hebrew National's beef franks didn't even rank in the top 20.

"Despite being a trimmed-fat version of their regular frank, our tasters didn't note a single shortfall," says Diedre Ayers of AOL Food. Tasters praised the reduced-fat frank with such comments as "best flavor yet," "fabuloso," "well balanced" and "full dog flavor." No condiments were added.

Runnerup was Nathan's Kosher Premium Beef Franks ("the ultimate expression of a Coney Island classic"). Ball Park Angus Beef Franks ("a most delectable weenie"), Nathan's Bigger Than the Bun Skinless Beef Franks ("It's so full-up on flavor it don't need no stinkin' epidermis") and Tony Packo's Hickory Smoked Authentic Hungarian Hot Dogs ("Fans of TV's M*A*S*H might remember Tony Packo's as Corporal Klinger's dream destination, and this snappy Toledo staple proves to be still in its prime") rounded out the top five. For a rundown on the results, including photos of the top 20, click here.

Incidentally, Hebrew National Reduced Fat Beef Franks each pack 120 calories, 10 grams of fat and 360 milligrams of sodium. Regular Hebrew National beef franks each weigh in with 150 calories, 14 grams of fat and 370 milligrams of sodium.

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