Pepsi-Flavored Ketchup on Your Hot Dog for Independence Day? Detroit Tigers Are Game for It

Thomas LaDuke enjoys ketchup on a hot dog at Comerica Park in Detroit. (Credit: Thomas LaDuke)

As America approaches Independence Day 2023 and prepares to celebrate its 247th birthday, this might be a good time to reflect on America’s pastime.

When I say America’s pastime, I do not mean watching what new mess occurs with Hunter Biden, nor am I talking about people standing in line to get tickets to hear Taylor Swift sing about all of her ex-boyfriends.

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I’m talking baseball.

Let me have the great James Earl Ray explain it in a way no other human truly can.

Thankfully here at RedState, I work with a number of folks who also appreciate the great game.

My colleague Becca Lower chimed in on this baseball story the other day: Phenom: Reds’ Elly De La Cruz Hits for the Cycle in Just 15th Career Start. I once dove into some scorching water when I wrote this a number of years back that Pete Rose Does Not Belong in the Hall of Fame.

I’m still getting hate mail over that post.

So when I came across this story here, I have to admit I was both appalled and intrigued about what my beloved hometown Detroit Tigers are doing this Independence Day.

Here are the basics.

Pepsi, in an effort to show “hot dogs go best with Pepsi,” has crafted their own condiment in partnership with the business unit of the Culinary Institute of America. It’s called “colachup.” And much like hot dogs, we don’t know what’s in it, although its flavor is described by a press release as the “the iconic sweet, citrusy taste of a crisp, refreshing Pepsi-Cola [infused] directly onto their hot dog.”

“The concept is both simple and creative. The distinctive flavors and vibrant citrus blend of Pepsi enhances the bright and tangy characteristics of ketchup, offsetting the smokiness of the hot dog,” David Kamen, director of client experience for CIA Consulting, said in a press release. “It’s a whole new way to enjoy two American classics!”

Now I guess I have to get something out of the way before I continue with this, and that is, I am a firm believer that you should put—if you so choose—ketchup on a hot dog. This is, in my opinion, just as American as apple pie and Chevrolet.

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I have argued with people for years about this most basic freedom that we as Americans still enjoy. If I am lucky enough to get down to see the Tigers take on the Oakland Athletics this Independence Day, I will absolutely celebrate my nation’s birth with a delicious hot dog from Comerica Park with ketchup, mustard, and some relish on it. I make no apologies for this, and in fact, I relish (pun intended) the opportunity to exercise my God-given American right to put ketchup on a hot dog and enjoy a baseball game at any time during the year.

Having made my position clear on ketchup on a hot dog, what Pepsi and the Tigers are proposing here is a food-driven curveball that might be just too intimidating for me.

The “colachup” experiment fuses Pepsi into the ketchup to offset the smokey goodness of a hot dog grilled to perfection down at the home of the Detroit Tigers. As I said earlier, I’m both intrigued and appalled at somehow putting pop (we call it pop up here, folks) into a condiment.

A couple of years back on Fat Tuesday, I stopped by another Detroit Institution, American Coney Island, to have one of their Coney paczkis. I have to admit that beforehand, I was thoroughly disgusted at the prospect of eating a Coney Dog with chili and mustard with onions put into a flattened jelly donut—and probably had heart palpitations before I actually tried it. However, as fate would have it, after I had one of those magnificent creations, I immediately ordered a second. I was simply stunned, being it was an amazing combination that to this day I still have trouble wrapping my mind around but continue to rave about.

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Could the Pepsi “colachup” on a Comerica Park hot dog surprise me in a similar way as the coney paczki, or will it ruin me from putting ketchup on a hot dog ever again?

These are truly interesting times that we live in, and I am willing to be the guinea pig for a new concoction attempting to put a new spin on an American classic. Okay, who am I kidding? Any excuse to go to a baseball game is a damn good excuse, and if this doesn’t work as well as I hope, I could always wash it down with some cold American beer.

Normally I would drink a Canadian Labatt Blue, but with the wildfires and the smoke that they’re polluting the area with right now, I’m on a mini boycott of them.

If I can make it down to the park on Independence Day, I will absolutely report back to you how this went, and if you have any suggestions for me, check out my bio below on how to contact me and let me know.

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