News about Dallas by way of Houston: the Eating Our Words blog ran a story yesterday about Hofmann Sausage Co. and its pending Texas takeover. The Syracuse-based hot dog maker was purchased by the Dallas-based Zaccanelli Food Group, and the links should be available at every Albertson's by Memorial Day.
I've never had a Hoffman's snappy griller, but I'm pretty sure I know exactly what to expect when I pick up several hundred before my next encounter with a charcoal Weber grill. Natural-casing hot dogs are big in upstate New York, and renditions from Zweigle's, based in Rochester, and Sahlen's, based in Buffalo, have been pushing their way south and appearing in grocery stores as far away as Virginia.
Texas, however, marks a new frontier for the carpetbagging wieners.
The casings on these dogs blister and split, and eventually blacken on a hot grill, adding a snappy and papery texture as well as a smoky flavor to each link. Try them on a soft roll with onions, mustard and good quality spicy pickle relish (try making your own) and your summer cookouts will become a thing of legend.