We have been distributing hot dogs all over the country for a while. It was not too long ago that we hit the 100,000 hot dog mark, and we are moving towards the 200,000 mark with every new friend at every company we visit. Today on National Hot Dog Day, let’s take some time to celebrate this All-American treat that has been around for a deliciously long time.
Sausage-like food has been around since the late 13th century, when Germans produced a pork sausage for the crowning of kings. It was created In Frankfurt, and known as a “dachshund” or “little dog” sausage. The switch from pork to beef happened when the people of Vienna, Wien in German, got a hold of the sausage. The sausages from Frankfurt were known as Frankfurters, and the ones made in Vienna were known as Wieners. All of these were served without a bun, so they are not REALLY hot dogs. But that was a problem soon to be remedied!
It is not well known exactly when the first Frankfurter was served on a sliced roll, but the practice came to the United States late in the 1800’s. Most stories point to a wide group of savvy entrepreneurs finding ways to get these sausages into the hands of consumers. One story says they began being sold that way at a cart in New York with rolls and sauerkraut around 1870. Around that same time, a German butcher started selling them in a similar manner on Coney Island. Another story puts the origin in the 1880’s St. Louis, where Anton Feuchtwanger (really, that was his name) was selling the sausages hot, and giving his customers white gloves to eat them with. People would walk off with the gloves, and his profits. His wife suggested he give them the same sausages, but with a roll to hold them instead of gloves. Chicago got into the game at the Columbian Exposition in 1893, offering these delicious German treats on bread. That year also saw the Dachshund sausage move into the baseball stadium, courtesy of the St. Louis Browns. The rest is tasty and delicious history. The name “hot dog” was first mentioned in 1892. The sausage itself has been called a “dog” since the mid-nineteenth century. So many different ways to market one type of food!
Hot dogs have gained in popularity over the years – you could say the hot dog is Top Dog in the wiener market. We stick to traditional condiments to serve on the road, but people get very creative with how they top this simple meal. Every region in the United States has its own ways of dressing up a hot dog: from the traditional Chicago hot dog of yellow mustard, white onion, a dill pickle, sweet relish, pickled peppers, tomatoes and celery salt on a poppy seed bun (no ketchup. Ever.) to the very exotic Sonoran hot dog from Arizona, which is a hot dog wrapped in smoked bacon with beans, onions (grilled and fresh), tomatoes, mayonnaise, cream sauce, and jalapeno salsa on bread. The most popular topping is mustard, followed closely by ketchup. We even started a Pinterest board to store all of the great recipes we are finding!
Here at R+L Carriers, we are proud to have served over 10 miles of hot dogs as we visit friends with our NASCAR racecar and hauler, but there are many other very worthy hot dog records out there. The most hot dogs eaten in one setting was done at Nathan’s (started in 1916 on Coney Island) Hot Dog Eating Contest, where Joey Chestnut downed 69 dogs and buns on his own. The largest hot dog you can buy is made by Big Hot Dogs, and weighs 7 lbs. It is almost a foot and a half long, and 4” across. Ochsi of Paraguay has the Guinness World Record for the longest one ever made, measuring in at almost 670 feet long! There was even a bun to go along with it. We wonder how it was delivered…
We have more road stories about our travels for you over the next few weeks, but we had to stop and take a break to celebrate what we consider to be the best lunch you can get. We would love to hear your favorite way to enjoy a hot dog! Let us know on our Facebook page, or Tweet it to us! Happy National Hot Dog Day everyone!