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History of the Hot Dog Day

An annual July event, Hot Dog Day is dedicated to the hot dog, one of the most popular American snack foods. Check out our informative article to know about the origin of the hot dog and its journey to the top of the American menu. If you like reading about the history of the hot dog, click here and share this article with your friends and dear ones. have a happy Hot Dog Day!

The know-it-all Wikipedia describes the delicious "Hot Dog" as "a moist sausage of soft, even texture and flavor, often made from advanced meat recovery or meat slurry". It is one cuisine we simply adore, despite the many negative warnings sounded about it time and again by health experts. Hot Dog Day is the annual occasion dedicated to this fantastic food.

Looking into the history of hot dog takes us back to the origin of the sausage. The exact time of invention of the sausage as also the identity of its inventor remains unknown. However, the fact that the sausage had been invented long back remains a topic of no-contest since reference to it can be found in as early works as Homer's epic, "Odyssey", a line of which goes thus:

"As when a man besides a great fire has filled a sausage with fat and blood and turns it this way and that and is very eager to get it quickly roasted. . ."

Popular opinion, however, accredits Gaius, cook of the Roman Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar, as the originator of the sausage. This man is said to have been the first earthling who devised that the inside of a pig could be filled with more tasteful items and the whole thing could be served as a single delectable dish. Thus the weiner was born.

FrankfurterIn 1484, the frankfurter was born in Germany, owing its name to Frankfurt, its place of birth. This smooth-textured sausage of minced beef or pork got very popular with each passing year and was to be the predecessor of the hot dog. But the name "frankfurter" was used not until 1852, when the butcher's guild in Frankfurt introduced a spiced and smoked sausage packed in a thin casing and named it after its birthplace. Slightly curved in shape, the frankfurter is also known as "dachshund sausage", a popular dachshund of one of the butchers of the guild.

The frankfurter came to America, when Germans landed on her soil. During the 1860s, many of the German immigrants sold items like frankfurters, milk rolls and sauerkrauts from pushcarts in New York City's Bowery to make a living. Among these men was Charles Feltman (1841-1910), a German butcher, who opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand in Brooklyn, New York in 1871. In his very first year in business, Charles Feltman sold a staggering 3,684 dachshund sausages in a milk roll.

But the term "hot dog" really came into existence in 1901 at the New York Polo Grounds. On a cold April day, concessionaire Harry Stevens (his business still runs) was finding few takers for his ice cream and ice cold soda. He sent his salesmen out to purchase all the dachshund sausages they could find, along with an equal number of rolls. Within an hour, his vendors got into business again armed with hot dogs from portable hot water tanks. They yelled:

"They're red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they're red hot!"

This cry of the vendors gave an idea to sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan was nearing his deadline and was badly looking for one in the press box. He immediately drew a cartoon of barking dachshund sausages nestled warmly in rolls. Not certain about the spelling of "dachshund", he simply wrote "hot dog!" The cartoon caught the popular imagination and the phrase "hot dog" was thus coined.

But it was another concessionaire, the Bavarian man Anton Feuchtwanger, who is regarded as the one who possibly
introduced the modern hot dog on a bun during the St. Louis "Louisiana Purchase Exposition" in 1904. He loaned white gloves to his patrons to hold his piping hot sausages. Most of the gloves were not returned, and the supply began running low. He reportedly asked his brother-in-law, a baker, to devise something that could take care of this problem. The baker improvised long soft rolls that fit the meat. And thus the hot dog bun was invented.

The delicious Hot Dog is now a part of American culture and one of the most popular foods sold in America. Every year, more than 16 billion hot dogs are consumed in the U.S. alone.

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