Hot dog is the term that has been designated to describe the number one or possibly the number two top favorite food sandwiches by Americans. The other famous bun sandwich is the hamburger.
The Fourth of July or Independence Day may just be the day that the most hot dogs are consumed. Memorial Day and Labor Day are close seconds. It is estimated that approximately every person eats an average of sixty hot dogs a year although that number usually increases during these holidays.
The month of July has been given the honor to celebrate “National Hot Dog Month”. Back in the 1400’s it is said that the first hot dog was sold in Frankfurt, Germany. It was originally a blend of meats consisting of pork and beef that was served on an oblong soft bun and at this time in history were referred to as frankfurters.
The smaller hot dogs were known as a wienerwurst. Theses sausages were prepared with either pork or beef and came from the town of Viennawurst. Then in the late 1890’s out on Coney Island the frankfurter became quite popular. It was introduced to the population on the island by Charles Feltman and by 1904 the wienerwurst’s name was changed to wiener.
Popular nicknames or alias names for these meat product favorites are:
- Hot dog/Hotdog
- Red hot
- Wiener dog/Weiner dog
- Tube steak
- Corn dog
- Chili dog
- Pigs in a blanket
- Beanie weenies
- Dachshund on a bun
- Foot long
The regular sized hot dog is approximately six inches in length but they can also be purchased in foot-long sizes as well as much smaller and bite-sized ones which are used as cocktail wieners.
The meat and meat alternatives are blended together and shaped into a sausage shape and placed inside a casing. The meat may also include spices such as garlic, ground mustard, salt, sugar, nutmeg, coriander, paprika and white pepper. They also have fat from the meat trimmings, flavorings and preservatives such as sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrates.
Hot dogs are actually pre-cooked prior to them being packaged and shouldn’t be eaten until they have been cooked at 160 – 170 degrees Fare height for at least two minutes. Today many of these cured meat sausages are also prepared with chicken, turkey, made vegetarian and with low-salt.
Popular toppings for hot dogs are:
- Pickle relish
Hot dogs can be cooked or heated up in a variety of ways such as being boiled, grilled, fried, steamed, broiled, and baked as well as micro waved. Did you know that a hot dog made from beef is referred to primarily as franks while those made from pork are usually referred to as wieners? The reason for this is that the beef dogs are more heavily seasoned while the pork dogs are much blander and it is easier to tell them apart when the manufacturers produce them.
Be a true American – eat a hot dog in July and celebrate “National Hot Dog Month”!
© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved