10 things you want to know about hot dogs

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10 things you want to know about hot dogs



As we enter a new summer in a new year we at Back in the Day want to wish you and yours the very best in health, happiness and prosperity. And it just wouldn’t be summer without a grilled hot dog or three, but how much do you really know about that hot dog you’re eating? Read on…

1) They Came From a Time Far, Far Away

hot dogs

Sausage is one of the oldest forms of processed food known dating back to 2000 BC and earlier with the introduction of spices. Along with salt curing, sausage was the easiest way to preserve meat as well as a way to utilize almost of the animal. Hot dogs are closely linked to sausages (no pun intended) and the earliest reference to sausage is in Homer’s Odyssey Book 18 written in the 9th Century B.C. nearly 3,000 years ago.

2) You Say Frankfurter, I Say Wiener

The debate over the birthplace of the hot dog comes down to two cities. It’s said the frankfurter was developed in Frankfurt, Germany in 1487, five years before Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world. The people of Vienna (Wien), Austria, point to the term “wiener” to prove their claim as the birthplace of the hot dog at around the same time. We say it’s too close to call.

3) When is a Dachshund Not a Dachshund?

The common hot dog is descended from the European dachshund sausage which came across the Atlantic via European butchers. In the USA the dachshund sausage was served on a roll or bread. Around 1870, Charles Feltman, a German butcher opened the first Coney Island hot dog stand selling 3,684 dachshund sausages on a milk roll during his first year in business or a little over 10 a day. They are now known today as hot dogs on a bun.


4) Hot Dogs Were a Hit in 1893

St. Luis Browns (hot dogs blog)

In 1893 sausages quickly became standard f

are at baseball parks. People liked a food that was easy to eat, convenient and relatively inexpensive. This tradition is believed to have been introduced by Chris Von de Ahe, a German immigrant who owned the St. Louis Browns major league baseball team. To bring it up to date, last year in 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers fans consumed over 3 million hot dogs over a 4-5 month season.

5) Why are They Called Hot Dogs?

The name “hot dog” is said to have come about from vendors pulling dachshund sausages out of boiling water at ball parks saying, “Get them while they’re hot!” A sports cartoonist named Tad Dorgan hastily drew a cartoon of the hot sausages on a bun and not knowing how to correctly spell dachshund (but knowing it was a breed of dog) simply called them hot dogs.

6) Summer is a Sizzling Hot Dog Season

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume around 7 billion (with a “b”) hot dogs. That’s 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that period of a little over 3 months. In fact, nearly 6,000 were consumed in the time it’s taken you to read this paragraph!

Hot dogs at dodger stadium (hot dogs blog)


7) Take Me Out to a Ballgame

At a major league ball game, the number of hot dogs sold typically numbers 80% of the paid attendance for the game. On some occasions it has been recorded that more hot dogs were sold than 100% of the paid attendance for the game. Obviously in both of these cases a number of fans are eating obviously eating more than one hot dog during the game.

8) What’s In That Dog?

Rumors run wild about what hot dogs are actually made of but the sources we consulted clearly state that most hot dogs are made from select meat trimmings of beef or pork (or chicken and turkey). If there are any suspect ingredients like heart, skin or fat the label will state “with variety meats.” At that point it’s anyone’s guess what it actually is.
High speed choppers blend meat, spices, ice chips and curing ingredients into a mixture that is pumped into an automatic stuffer and linker machine, where it flows into casings. The long strands of hot dogs are moved to the smokehouse to be fully cooked, rinsed in cool water and packaged. Then entire process takes a couple of hours.

9) What’s on That Hot Dog, Skin?

The majority of hot dogs today use temporary cellulose casings that are removed after the hot dogs have been cooked and cleaned. By using this method, all of the hot dogs are a uniform size, shape and weight (skinless dogs). However some manufacturers stuff the ingredients into casings made from cleaned animal intestines, like Boars Head which uses sheep intestines for its casings. This process is considered to be more traditional and usually costs a bit more and the hot dogs are not identical in size, shape and weight.

10) How Many Hot Dogs Can You Eat?
Nathans Hot Dog Eating contest (hot dogs blog)

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has been held at the original location on Coney Island in New York City every year since 1972 on the 4th of July. Men and women contestants sit on a raised platform and try to eat as many hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. Until 2001 the men’s record was 25, but that year Takeru Kobayashi downed 50 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes. The women’s record of 40 hot dogs and buns was set by Sonya Thomas. Is anyone else thinking maybe that’s just too much of a good thing?



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