Hot Dogs! Get Your Hot Dogs!

English: Chicago-style hot dog at Portillo's

Celebrate Hot Dog Month by getting yourself a big juicy hot dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hot Dogs! No matter how you like yours, odds are you will find yourself eating at least a few in the coming weeks.  This staple of the backyard barbecue is almost as American as apple pie.  It is fitting that July is National Hot Dog month since Americans will consume more than 150 million of them on July 4th alone.  Grab the ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, chili, and cheese and get ready to celebrate National Hot Dog Month.  Here are some funny, interesting, and informational tidbits about where hot dogs came from, how we like them, and who eats more of them than anyone else.

Where Did Hot Dogs Come From

  • What we think of as modern hotdogs were originally brought to this country by German and Austrian immigrants.
  • Hot dogs got their start as pork sausages wrapped in bread that were sold in the city of Frankfurt, Germany and as pork and beef sausages that came from Vienna, Austria.  This is the reason they are also sometimes called frankfurters or wieners.
  • Despite its foreign roots, the hot dog is part of Americana, which is fitting, since almost every American can also tie their roots back to foreign soil.
  • It was here in America, however, that the frankfurter and the wiener became the hot dog, when a 19th century cartoonist drew a cartoon featuring a Dachshund in a bun and, unable to spell Dachshund, called it a “Hot Dog”.  The rest, as they say, is history.

How We Like Out Hot Dogs

How you like your hot dog likely depends on where you grew up.  Depending on where you are in the country, you may get something different if you order “A hot dog”.

  • The Sonoran Hot Dog is a favorite right here in Arizona.  This dog is wrapped in bacon, grilled, and served in a bolillo roll with pinto beans, tomatoes, onions, mustard, mayo, and jalapenos.  Check out our recipe for this local favorite here.
  • The Coney might sound like it would be found on Coney Island in New York, but if you want this steamed dog smothered with meat chili, mustard, onions, and shredded cheese, you will have to head to the Mid-West.
  • The Michigan Red Hot is also found in an unlikely location, not in Michigan where you might expect, but in upstate New York.  It features a split top roll with meat-only chili, mustard, and onions.
  • The New York System can be found in Rhode Island and are served in a standard side-cut bun topped with meat sauce, mustard, chopped raw onion, and celery salt.
  • Slaw Dogs are a staple in the South and feature different kinds of slaw, some sweet, some spicy.
  • The Chicago Dog, which is actually from Chicago, is served in a poppy seed bun with raw onion, sweet relish, sport peppers, tomato slices, yellow mustard, celery salt, and a pickle spear.
  • For something totally different, try a Red Dog or Red Snapper which can be found in Maine.  This hot dog has a neon red casing that keeps the juices in and makes a snap when first pierced.  Red Dogs are served on a buttered, grilled bun.
  • On the opposite coast, you can find Dodger Dogs throughout LA and at Dodger stadium.  These dogs are skinless, pork, and come grilled or steamed in a steamed bun.

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