Hotdogs aren’t exactly healthy. There’s a lot of fat in them that you don’t see. If you’ve seen documentaries of how hotdogs are made in factories, well, you might have the same reaction as Sam — she doesn’t eat hotdogs anymore. She hasn’t in something like two years.
Nevertheless, hotdogs are here to stay. Purefoods and Swift are, arguably, the big names in local hotdogs. So, we decided to pit them against each other. Nine days ago, we bought a 500-gram pack of Purefoods Tender Juicy cocktail hotdogs and a 500-gram pack of Swift’s Mighty Meaty cocktail hotdogs. We’ve been cooking them for days, having them in several ways, my initial assessment changed over time in more ways than one.
But let’s start with the most basic: the price. Purefoods price: PHP127.00. Swift price: PHP99.25. Substantial difference.
What about the packaging? Purefoods has balloons and a party hat. Swift has a healthy-looking boy in a healthy and active looking pose holding a hotdog. The Swift package also says “With Vitamins A and B1”. It’s quite obvious what the target market is.
What’s inside the packages?
Hotdogs, of course — each wrapped in plastic. These individual plastic wrappers were non-existent when I was a kid and I’ve always wondered how much weight they add and whether that added weight forms part of the total net weight of each bag of hotdogs. I still don’t have an answer to that.
Let’s go to the intrinsic merits of the two brands.
The first time we cooked the hotdogs — pan-fried — I found the flavors of Purefoods Tendery Juicy hotdogs too overwhelming. I couldn’t quite decide whether they were too sweet or too salty. I appreciated the relative blandness of the Swift Mighty Meaty hotdogs more as they seemed to contain less artificial flavorings.
The second time we ate the hotdogs, the girls were home. Alex fried them and she announced that Purefoods Tendery Juicy hotdogs tasted better. Well, yes, they were tastier — maybe too tasty as I have detailed above. I also noticed that the Swift Mighty Meaty hotdogs had a grainy texture. Sandy. As though bones that had been ground into sawdust were mixed in. If you have dogs, you might be familiar with the term “sawdust” — it is finely ground bones sold in some meat shops as dog food. I’m not saying that Swift Mighty Meaty hotdogs are made with dog food but the grainy texture left that impression on me. And it’s just an impression.
Just an hour ago, I cooked some more hotdogs in two different ways. I microwaved some and fried a few others.
Above, the Swift Mighty Meaty hotdogs after two minutes on HIGH in the microwave.
Above, the Purefoods Tender Juicy hotdogs after two minutes on HIGH in the microwave.
Both had a chewy rubber-like texture. Obviously, hotdogs aren’t meant to be cooked in the microwave.
As a final test, I pan fried two of each.
That’s Swift on the left; Purefoods on the right. The texture was better. The hotdogs were softer and juicier.
I ate them with no bread or spreads or condiments to get the pure taste of the hotdogs in my mouth. Final verdict?
The Swift Mighty Meaty hotdogs were still grainy whether microwaved or pan fried.
The Purefoods Tendery Juicy hotdogs were still too cloying. And as I ate slowly, I noticed how salty they were — the extreme saltiness actually hit the back part of the roof of my mouth.
What would I recommend between the two brands? Neither. We’ll try some other brands and make some more comparisons. AFTER we finish the remaining Purefoods and Swift hotdogs in the freezer. I know, I know. We bought them nine days ago and there are still some in the freezer. Told you, they’re not that great.