There’s a conversational charm to Jamie Loftus’ narration of her book, Raw Dog (9.5 hours), in which she shares the results of her travels around the United States, one hot dog at a time.
The history of the hot dog is rich and filled with surprises, from its European roots as wienerschnitzel to its iconic status at Coney Island and baseball games. Loftus gives advance warning about the book’s discussion of slaughterhouses and how hot dogs are made, but even with such unsavory topics, there’s something terribly irresistible about her narration, which is often incredibly funny. In addition to offering a unique glimpse at the hot dog’s impact on Americana, Loftus provides much food for thought about the people and places that have contributed to its ability to transcend socioeconomic levels, as its appeal ranges from affordable meal to gourmet delicacy.
This is an ideal listen for those who enjoy the frank food truths of Mark Bittman’s Animal, Vegetable, Junk and Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation.