CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The nation is finally drinking the Kool-Aid -- or eating West Virginia hot dogs.
The West Virginia hot dog, topped with chili sauce, slaw and mustard housed in a steamed bun, was named the winner in the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council's 2013 March Madness bracket this week.
"I think it's a great victory for our state. It is simply the acknowledgement that the rest of the world is finally seeing what was already clearly evident -- just perhaps not in the public eye. The West Virginia hot dog is the best," said Stanton Means, head weenie wonk at WVHotDogs.com.
The West Virginia Hot Dog Blog documents hot dog joints across the state and taste tests their West Virginia hotdogs. The blog also keeps the public informed on all the spiciest hot dog news.
The national hot dog and sausage competition, which is held during the NCAA basketball tournament, had the West Virginia hot dog with the most votes in three weeks, which upended the Bratwurst in the final with 80 percent of the fan vote.
The West Virginia hot dog started off as a fifth seed and beat out the classic number-one seeded New York (hot dog served with steamed onions and a pale, deli-style yellow mustard), emerging eight-seeded Seattle (hot dog served with cream cheese and grilled onions on a toasted bun) and Georgia (4) in the regional wiener bracket side.
The West Virginia dog also bested the Coney (3), Sonoran (6), Kansas City (7) and second-seeded Chicago (dogs layered with yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion, pickle spear, sport peppers, tomato slices and topped with a dash of celery salt and served in a poppy seed bun) dogs.
After toppling the left-side regional hot dog arm of the bracket, the West Virginia dog went on to lick sausage challenges from number-one seeded Bratwurst, as well as other competitors Mortadella (8), Chorizo (4), Andouille (5), Kielbasa (3), Salami (6), Bologna (7), and Italian (2).
Fans voted in the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council's Facebook polls at www.facebook.com/NHDSC to support an entry through the quarterfinal, semifinal and championship rounds.