According to Canadian educator Lawrence J. Peter, “the noblest of all dogs is the hot dog; it feeds the hand that bites it.” The noble hot dog has been an American staple since the 1800’s. In fact, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans consume about 20 billion hot dogs per year. That averages out to nearly 70 hot dogs per person, each year!
There are nearly as many theories about the origin of the hot dog as there are varieties of the sausage itself, but most experts agree that the “dachshund” or “little dog” sausage was created in Germany back in the 1600’s by a butcher named Johann Georghehner. Hot dogs became standard fare at baseball games in 1893, when St. Louis bar owner, German immigrant, and MLB team owner Chris Von de Ahe introduced them at his ballpark. Today, hot dogs are on the menu at nearly every sporting venue, from high school fields to major league stadiums.
There are also multiple versions of the legend of the original hot dog bun. One story goes that an early hot dog vendor gave each customer a pair of white gloves to protect their hands from the hot meat, but no one returned the gloves so the vendor started running into money troubles. To save money, he had a friendly baker create a special roll to hold the piping hot sausages, and the hot dog bun was born.
When German immigrants came to the United States, they brought the hot dog, as well as their Dachshund dogs. It is said that the name “hot dog” began as a joke about the long, thin dogs and their resemblance to the sausage. Another story relates that an early hot dog vendor was heard shouting “get your dachshund sausages while they’re hot”, which was eventually shortened to “get your hot dogs”.
Hot dogs remain one of America’s favorite foods, especially in the summertime! Most are eaten between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and they are available in sizes from the small “cocktail” version to the ballpark favorite foot-long. Toppings range from the old standard ketchup and mustard to more sophisticated flavors like bleu cheese, salsa, or caramelized onions. Craving a delicious hot dog? Tommy’s Red Hots has all your favorites and a different special every day. Visit us at 500 S Eastwood Dr. in Woodstock or give us a call at 630-443-6085