Toufayan Snuggles Hot Dog Buns
I like a good hot dog and always have. Over the years I have eaten them with all manner of topping and bread. But a certain bun that I had when I was a kid always stuck in my mind, Toufayan Snuggles Hot Dog Buns.
When I try to explain the Snuggle Bun to someone who never had one, they look at me quizzically and usually say, “so a hot dog bun?”
Yes, it was a hot dog bun, but the texture and form factor was like no other. Instead of laying there lazily accepting the hot dog and its toppings, the Snuggle bun wrapped, almost aggressively, around the dog. No slipping and sliding with this dog/bun combination. If you want to picture a Snuggle, it would be most helpful to look at it in cross-section. Instead of a V-shape composed of two halves of open buns, you have a U-shaped single bun.
The texture is even harder to explain. It was denser bread. Not hard and not rubbery, just denser, but delicious. That denseness meant that it didn’t actively absorb the moisture of the toppings or dog like a sponge. It would absorb just the right amount, but the majority of it wound up where it belonged, on your dog and eventually in your mouth. This also meant that the bun didn’t fall apart on you while trying to eat it.
I have been searching for Snuggles for years, but unfortunately, because I ate them mostly as a kid, I could not remember their name or their manufacturer. I would come tantalizingly close to them from time to time, often spotting them in the background of a TV show.
Yet no matter how frequently I thought about them or saw glimpses of them, I couldn’t shake loose the name. Then just last night it happened, I was sitting at my computer when the name, Snuggles, popped into my head.
I searched it right away and learned quickly that they were no longer being made. But the company that made them Toufayan is still in business and on their website people were asking the company to bring them back. The company has been quite responsive to people’s pleas, but the most telling comment on progress was from 2019.
We’ve had quite a few setbacks in trying to bring these wonderful buns back to the market. Not the least of which being the custom-made equipment that helps our bakers create and package that unique shape. When we tried to track down the old equipment we found that all of it had been re-manufactured. Our bakers have looked into working with new equipment designers and manufacturers to rebuild the secret designs, but it’s slow going and extremely expensive. For now, all we can tell you is that it’s going to take a while. Sorry.
It might not be what I want to hear, but it keeps hope alive.
The History of Snuggles Hot Dog Buns
The Toufayan family immigrated to America and founded a bakery in the 1960s. It is unclear when they started selling Snuggles though.
The earliest advertising I can find for them in print is from a supermarket advertisement from 1977. Looking at mentions in newspapers, they seemed to peak in popularity in the early to mid-eighties, but would still show up from time to time as the decades marched on. I am not sure when they last manufactured them, the last appearance of the product on their website was in 2012.
There they are described as “the ultimate fun roll!” That is “taking the country by storm.”
While the Snuggle Roll was sold by the Toufayan company for a couple of decades starting in the Sixties or Seventies, the dream of this sort of roll goes back even further.
While browsing patents, I came across a sausage bun patent from 1926 by Edward Mandelbaum. Mandelbaum’s bun lacks the precise shaping that Toufayan would master decades later, but it proves that the dream of this type of bun has been percolating for a while.
Mandelbaum described his role in the patent, and it is a PERFECT description of this type of roll.
A sandwich roll having in its top a longitudinal trough-like cavity opening through both of its ends and adapted to receive a sausage or similarly shaped core, the roll, and its cavity being completely formed independently of the core but in readiness to receive `the same, the roll being of a nonbrittle nature to permit spreading of the roll to admit the core.
I have had many a fancy hot dog in my life. Ones made with all sorts of interesting topping and methods of cooking.
Buns? I’ve eaten just about every type out there. I enjoyed eating them all, and they satisfied my hunger, but they have left me wanting. Because they only satisfy my hunger. These hot dogs and their buns do nothing for my sense of nostalgia.
I am chasing a ghost bun, and I will not be satisfied until one day I can tuck a delicious dog into a Snuggle and once again have a hot dog that tasted like it did in my childhood. It is time to bring them back!