Originally posted by David_NYC
In considering the possibility of payola, I don't think it likely. For the record, Kat Kinsman defended her impartiality. What is not impossible is asking the manufacturers to ship samples to NYC. There are only two brands on that list of 20 that I don't know where to buy. One is Tony Packo's. Tony Packo's does ship franks cold from Toledo by mail, but they are also available in upstate New York. They could have been brought down. The other is Brat Hans. Their label indicates a Whole Foods connection, which are in Manhattan. Or they could have been shipped in cold from Chicago.
A few other points. The top of the Slashfood blog, as well as the homepage of AOL Grilling, indicates they started out testing 50 types of hot dogs. Yet only 20 brands are mentioned in the article. Did the panel taste any of these, or were they disqualified by the AOL editors? Were these the tofo, vegetarian, chicken, mystery meat/mystery animal dogs, or the ones you find at Jack's 99 cents store down on Herald Square? Or house brands from Pathmark, White Rose, Black Bear (Shoprite/D&W), Associated, Western Beef, Shoprite, Stop and Shop, etc. which have limited geographical distribution?
Looking over the Slashfood site indicates a Nicole Weston mounted a similar taste test in 2006: http://www.slashfood.com/2006/05/21/slashfood-ate-8-best-hot-dogs/
That article generated 253 comments, mostly of the "you're nuts" variety.
Sadly, other online sites repeated the 2008 AOL Food article, as this one on the website of the Sacramento Bee: http://www.sacbee.com/static/weblogs/dining/
Scroll down to the entry for July 1, 2008.
I see the problem as being that free media (weekly free newspapers and web sites) as well as features sections of print media (those freelancer articles carried in newspaper food sections) don't have the budget to mount a 'scientific comparison.'
I'm sure many of us in college were told to consider the source of anything we were quoting in our papers. We really should not start threads on bogus "best pizza in the valley" stories. But for people googling the subject, they will usually find our comments and rebuttals to the balderdash they are reading.