Well, at least one person has answered the call for a kinder, gentler dog, patenting a device that he claims will render a hot dog safer to eat. Veteran food inventor Gene Gagliardi, head of Creativators and the mind behind Steak-umm and KFC's Popcorn Chicken, is now pitching the Kinder Cut Hot Dog cutting machines.
The device creates eight strategically placed slits up and down the sides of a hot dog, resulting in smaller pieces when it's chewed. (The cross-cut dog looks a little like an asterisk.) Gagliardi told The Wall Street Journal blog Metropolis that these slits will improve the taste, too. "What we do with the hot dog actually makes it safer and it enhances the flavor of the hot dog," Gagliardi said. "All the slits that open up, the flavors get in there, the condiments get in there."
If it works the way Gagliardi thinks it will, it's easy to imagine the device being used at ballparks, street vendor carts, and everywhere one might think to buy a hot dog. The head of the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, Janet Riley, expressed doubt about a redesign last February, but she seemed more open to the idea when she spoke to the Metropolis several months later. Hot-dog-loving children everywhere can hold out hope -- and so can their parents.