Corn dogs and carnivals go hand in hand. This classic American snack food -- also served at summer backyard cookouts and state fairs -- consists of a hot dog threaded on a wooden stick, dipped in a cornmeal batter and then fried. Corn dogs can be eaten without any accompaniment, but dipping them in a thick sauce adds to the enjoyment.
Mustard is the classic sauce of choice for corn dogs. Yellow sandwich mustard is perfectly acceptable, but consider alternatives. Corn dogs match particularly well with sweet mustards, such as honey mustard and apricot mustard, but spicy brown mustard also works.
Some people prefer the sweet tang of ketchup to the pungent heat of mustard for a corn dog. Once again, plain supermarket ketchup is fine, but look into variations for a fun alternative. Gourmet shops sell German-style curry ketchup, for example, which makes for an unusual but tasty twist.
If ketchup is too plain, consider barbecue sauce as a dip for your corn dog. Similar to ketchup in its base ingredient of tomato, barbecue sauce leans on notes of smoke and vinegar for its flavor. It also has a thick, stay-put consistency that lends itself well to corn dog dipping.
Sweet Chili Sauce
Sweet chili sauce is a Thai-inspired condiment you can find at most larger grocery stores. As its name implies, it is both sweet and spicy hot. Its texture is thick and pulpy. Thai sweet chili sauce is traditionally used as a dipping sauce for grilled meat and fried foods, making it a natural for corn dogs.
Thick and creamy, mayonnaise contrasts with the crunchy corn dog. Mayonnaise is more versatile than you might think. Although its base flavor is rather bland, it takes to additional seasoning well. Mix in some curry powder, a spoonful of basil pesto, some chili powder or grated horseradish for another layer of flavor.
Lori A. Selke has been a professional writer and editor for more than 15 years, touching on topics ranging from LGBT issues to sexuality and sexual health, parenting, alternative health, travel, and food and cooking. Her work has appeared in Curve Magazine, Girlfriends, Libido, The Children's Advocate, Decider.com, The SF Weekly, EthicalFoods.com and GoMag.com.