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24 Oct, 2018

About those new veggie hot dogs at IKEA

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

I was feeling down in the dumps today and around lunchtime I decided that I needed to get myself out of the house and cheer myself up in the process. The exact reason WHY I hit upon IKEA hot dogs as the solution, well, who knows why. I will say that their new veggie hot dogs were launched October 3 and I’ve been meaning to try them for awhile. THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE DAY.

My Twitter followers had front-row seats to the experience as it unfolded earlier today, but I can summarize by saying the IKEA veggie dogs are good but there were a few surprises along the way.

First, an important point. The veggie hot dogs are located in the area of the store called the “bistro,” which is just past the cash registers and where one might normally nab a cinnamon bun before heading back to the car. The veggie dogs are not available at the IKEA restaurant. This small detail might save you a 30-minute walk.

IKEA veggie dogs are cheap. Very cheap. And I’m not sure if this is a permanent thing, but right now they’re even less expensive than their regular meaty counterparts. At 75 cents the veggie dogs are a steal and I hope that IKEA always keeps the price of the veggie dog lower than the regular dog. IKEA says they’re concerned about the environment, well, this sends a great message. I’m tired of veggie burgers costing more than meat burgers at other restaurants, aren’t you? Related: why is there always an upcharge if you order a side salad with a meal instead of fries?

I ordered two dogs. I’m glad I did, because they are on the small side.

This was surprise #1:

They weren’t dressed! Here’s surprise #2.

I was directed to the condiment station, which looked like this:

As you can see, the condiment station could have used some attention. Only mildly discouraged (and quite hungry at this point) I forged ahead and applied my toppings: mustard, pickled cabbage, and roasted onions. I sat down at the counter and had my first bite.

I really liked them, and would definitely get one (or two) again. The combination of toppings really worked for me. The hot dog itself is fairly mild. According to this article in the National Post they’re made with kale, red lentils, carrots, ginger, quinoa, onion, potatoes and spices.

My only complaint is that they could have been hotter, but what other food items can be bought for under a buck nowadays? It was also a little messy, but I only have myself to blame (and those crispy onion bits).

I wish they served them in the restaurant upstairs! I’d enjoy it even more with a glass of white wine.

Interestingly, on the official IKEA marketing poster, the onion I loved so much is referred to as “roasted” onion, which sounds a lot better – not to mention, healthier – than if they had used the word “fried,” which I think it is. Packages of onion bits, named ROSTAD LOK in proper IKEA tradition, are available in the grocery area. I was pretty excited to see it there, that is, until I read the ingredients. The second ingredient after onions is palm oil, which I avoid because of the damaging impact it can have on the environment. I looked it up when I got home and found some reassuring news. Apparently, by the end of 2017, 98.5% of the palm oil they use “is certified sustainable palm oil from segregated RSPO [Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil] sources. Thus, palm oil is physically separated from non-sustainable oil during the whole supply chain from mill to manufacturing of the final product.” (Here’s the source document if you’d like to read it.)

IKEA uses approximately 40,000 tonnes of palm oil annually. About 94% of the total volume is used in home furnishing products, mainly in candles. Around 6% can be referred to food.

I hope that IKEA continues to be vigilant as it pertains to the use of palm oil, and that they continue to promote vegetarian foods in the stores. IKEA is, after all, one of the biggest businesses in the world and is in a great position to nudge people in the right direction and normalize a veggie lifestyle. Many people don’t seem to understand that you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy a veggie dog.

What do you think? Will you try it? Or maybe you have already?


2 Responses to "About those new veggie hot dogs at IKEA"

1 | suzanne

October 25th, 2018 at 11:22 am

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I tried it. I wasn’t a fan, but I didn’t try all the IKEA toppings like you did – I stuck with mustard and ketchup (my regular hotdog toppings). I found the spices to be overwhelming.
I might try it again with all the stuff… but it would be nice to have them in the cafeteria. I hate the lineup at the cinnamon bun place

2 | andrea tomkins

October 25th, 2018 at 12:11 pm

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Hmm. Interesting! I don’t think I would have liked this with ketchup. But then again, I wouldn’t put ketchup on a veggie burger either. Ketchup doesn’t really go well with it, IMO. Part of what made it work, for me, was the confluence of dog, bun, and toppings. All that to say, this is not a super deluxe/fancy hot dog, just like its $1 meaty twin is not a fancy hot dog. Does anyone rave about how delicious the meat dog is? I doubt it. It’s just a hot dog. Know what I mean?

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark. We have two daughters: Emma (19) and Sarah (17). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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