I’m sure if you asked them, Chileans would find any number of our American dining creations to be curious and off-putting. But would any of them be so strange at first blush as the completo?
The complete—as served in Santiago or Stateside at San Antonio Bakery in Queens—is a hot dog on a roll, with sauerkraut, diced tomatoes, avocado, and a thick squiggle of mayo. It should not work. It should not be legal. But something about the temperature contrast of the hot, salty dog and cold, bracing sauerkraut, and the thick layers of intermingling fat in the form of avocado and mayo, just clicks. That’s more than you can say for plenty of American inventions (think Tex-Mex egg rolls . . .).
1. Mash the avocados in a bowl with a fork until smooth. There should be about 2 cups. Season lightly with salt, and chill.
2. Place the hot dogs in a medium pot of cold water and set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, cover, and remove from the heat.
3. Lightly toast the rolls and keep warm.
4. Place a hot dog in a bun and top with sauerkraut and tomatoes. Fill the bun with 1/2 cup mashed avocado and smooth the top even with the bun. Squirt or swipe with 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and serve immediately. Repeat to make 4 completos.
Reprinted from The Wurst of Lucky Peach. Copyright © 2016 by Lucky Peach, LLC. Principal photographs copyright © 2016 by Gabriele Stabile. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
"Vegetables are perishable, so we don't have any indication of what they looked like 500 years ago," says James Nienhuis, a professor in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin.