I just tried the Applegate Farms Great Organic Hot Dog . Although I have seen this beef hot dog many times before while shopping at Whole Foods, I never bought it because the package does not say gluten free like the other Applegate Farms products I buy (chicken and apple sausage and lunchmeat). I decided to go to their website and found out it is indeed gluten free as well as dairy and casein free. I have been buying the Wellshire Farms beef hot dogs for many years and enjoyed them even before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. After learning that some of their gluten free products actually contain gluten (see my posting on the Chicago Tribune investigation ), I am not buying any Wellshire Farms products right now. My daughter was very sad when I told her this because the Wellshire Farms hot dogs are one of her favorite foods.
The Applegate Farms Great Organic Hot Dog is very similar to the Wellshire Farms one in size and price. It is a fat hot dog, about twice the size of a regular hot dog. It is expensive - $6.49 for 8 hot dogs, but it is a healthy hot dog with only 8 grams of fat, made from 100% organic grass fed beef, and no nitrates.
So how did it taste? Their website says it is “juicy, flavorful, and delicious”. As I was cooking them in boiled water, I smelled an aroma of onion, garlic, and paprika. Not only did it taste juicy, but I could also see the juice coming out when I poked it with a fork. It was definitely flavorful and the dominant taste was paprika and onion. Unfortunately, it was not delicious. Here is a quote from my 7 year old daughter, “It was spicy, juicy, and flavorful, but not the kind of flavor that I want in my hot dog. It was okay, but not great. I don’t really want to eat it again.” I agree!
Warning: Below is Applegate Farms statement on allergies from their website. It is made on shared equipment. “Our production facilities also produce products that do contain allergens such as milk, wheat and soy. Our facilities follow strict food safety protocols that are also overseen by the USDA, which, are designed to prevent cross-contamination. This includes timing production so Applegate products are the first run of the day, physical separation of products at all times, and thoroughly sanitizing all machinery in contact with products between each run”