Hot diggity dog!

Illustration By Mark Stivers

There’s nothing quite so all-American as a hot dog, but do you really want to spend your Fourth of July cookout worrying about what’s in that factory-farmed and highly processed meat? I recently tried the hot dogs from Bledsoe Natural Pork, which is naturally raised in Woodland, without antibiotics or growth hormones. They sell a full range of pork products, from chops and linguiça to truly awesome bacon, at the farmers’ market on Sunday mornings at 8th and W streets. As a bonus, farmer John Bledsoe (who owns the company with his brother Dan) is fun to talk to and modest to boot: “We’re just hog farmers trying to make a living,” he said, telling me that the hot dogs are made with a natural casing, like the old-time franks they used to call “poppers.” In any case, they’re awfully tasty grilled up (I like ’em lightly charred) and served on a bun with spicy mustard—an excellent reason to wave the flag. (530) 666-1349.