When I was a young boy, I had a favorite dish that my mother would prepare. I had no idea that this same dish was enjoyed around the world, with a broad range of differences that changed from region to region. It was a simple thing, really, a standard Oscar Meyer Hot Dog wrapped in simple croissant dough from your standard Pillsbury instant can. My mother would carefully take the croissants and lay them out, place the hot dog in them, and roll them up. Sure it was simple and cheap, and really no more than we usually got, but that one extra step turned them from just another meal, to something that felt special. Even better was when she added a little slice of cheese in it.
Yeah, those are pigs in a blanket… Well kind of… What’s so special?
What made them special was that little bit of preparation that turned them from just another thing on our plate to a little bit of fair food, right in our own kitchen. As I got older I learned that these were easily the simplest of a remarkably diverse type of food.
To begin with, they’re usually made with a proper sausage, not just a cheap and rather unpalatable American frankfurter. The bread they’re wrapped in sometimes isn’t, as the UK variation is a sausage wrapped in bacon (What an insane delicacy that would’ve been!), while breakfast variations exist that are breakfast sausage wrapped in pancake.
Even the name is broad, as the further you go afield, the more variations you can find. Our personal favorite is the Moshe Ba’Teiva (Moses in the Ark), which is little more than a kosher hot-dog wrapped in phyllo dough covered in ketchup and baked. At the end of the day, it’s just one more variation of this treat.
What makes them special enough to have a ‘Pigs in a blanket’ day?
Pigs in a blanket serve a similar purpose throughout the world, wherever we find them. They take simple things and turn them into something special, a little bit of extra care and love that builds memories and leaves us thinking of days gone by. So often are they made for children that when we get older they often serve as reminders of grandparents and parents, and they become a tradition we pass on.
Take some time this Pigs In A Blanket Day to pass it on, to share the love and sparkle of joy that comes when these come out of the oven, something simple turned magical.