We’re willing to admit that the “pretzel dog”—one of the premiere items from mall food court staple Auntie Anne’s—is a bit of a confounding concept. Who’s idea was it to take a mass-produced frank, wrap it in dough, and then slather it with butter, salt, and (if you’re doing it right) packaged cheese sauce?
Regardless of your feelings on the pretzel dog, customers in Malaysia are confused by the highway rest-stop favorite for a whole different set of reasons. Basically, people are perplexed by the word “dog,” assuming the product actually contains some sort of canine meat.
According to the Associated Press, authorities from Malaysia’s Islamic Development Department has now asked the pretzel chain to change the name of it's massive frank in a blanket to help offset all of the confusion. Instead, for Auntie Anne’s to earn halal certification in Malaysia—a constitutional monarchy where roughly 60 percent of the country’s 28 million citizens are Muslim—the company has been asked to rename its pretzel dog “pretzel sausage.” Dogs, as the AP notes, are deemed “unclean” under Islamic law.
This isn't the first time an American chain has run into problems selling hot dogs overseas. A&W faced similar issues with Malaysian authorities, and ultimately had to change the name of it’s root beer to RB, because customers thought it was alcoholic. A&W tackled the hot dog problem pretty easily by switching the name of its items to "franks" and "coneys.”
Even if Auntie Anne’s does change its product's name, let's hope the company is using Hebrew National dogs in its food. Having any pork in the wieners will surely derail the brand’s road to halal status.
[via Associated Press]