Dr. Foodle here and I have been researching the history of the hot dog, one of my favourite quick and easy meals. As we all know, the hot dog is a sausage in a long bun with sauces and other tasty additions such as onions, peppers, and cheese. The sausage has been around for a long time, mentioned in the 9th century BC in the Odyssey by Homer.
The sausage, often called a frankfurter, frankfurt, wiener, or little-dog is of German origin, dating back to the 13th century, originally made for special occasions such as coronations, and is a long, thin sausage that was wrapped in a slice of bread. It later became more popular and was served and eaten more often when it became cheap to buy and quick and easy to eat.
The hot dog has not been around for nearly as long. There is a lot of conjecture on how the hot dog came about, but the origins seem to stem from county fairs and expositions in the late 1800s in America, where hot sausages were handed out with a pair of gloves. The gloves protected the eaters hands from the heat but were never returned. A sausage seller’s wife suggested that the hot meat be put in a slice of bread, saving on gloves and burnt hands.
Culinary historians seem to think that the term “hot dog” came about from aspersions cast about the content of the sausage. Dog meat was often rumoured to be used in ground meat products, and the sausages were called dogs due to this assumption.
Some time during the 1860s, an immigrant from Germany was selling frankfurts topped with sauerkraut in a milk roll in New York from a cart.
Coney Island served their first hot dog in 1871.
By 1893, sausages were the standard food at all baseball parks that was thought to be started by Chris Von de Ahe, who was a German immigrant who owned a bar in St. Louis as well as the St. Louis baseball team.
The invention of the hot dog bun seems to be a natural progression from the sliced bread used by Germans to how we eat them today.
The term “hot dog” first appeared in the late 1890s when Yale University campus had dog wagons selling hot dogs at the dormitories. The term was a comment on the rumoured dog meat inclusion at the time.
Hot dog world records
The longest hot dog ever made was in Japan and was a 60-meter long sausage in a 60.3-meter long bun. It was created for the 50th Anniversary of the All-Japan Bread Association. Prepared by the Shizuoka Meat Producers, the event was held at the Akasaka Prince Hotel in Tokyo on August 4, 2006.
On National Hot Dog Day in 2010, the most expensive hot dog at the time was sold for USD $69. The sausage was topped with foie gras, truffle oil, and truffle butter. Since then, California Capitol City Dawg in Sacramento broke the record in 2012. Their hot dog sold for $145.49 and had a 46-centimeter all-beef sausage on a freshly baked garlic and olive oil focaccia roll with whole grain mustard from France, sautéed shallots, organic baby greens, bacon from New Hampshire that was smoked with fruitwood and marinated in maple syrup, chopped tomatoes, cheese from Sweden made from Moose milk, cranberries, and a vinaigrette. It was all for a good cause, as the money from each hot dog was donated to the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.
The world record for eating hot dogs belongs to Joey Chestnut from San Jose in California. He ate 69 hot dogs in a 10-minute period for his seventh win in a row at Nathan’s famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in the USA.
Just another quick word from me, Dr. Foodle – coming soon are my favourite topping recipes for hot dogs. You won’t want to miss these tasty toppings for tantalising your taste buds!