National Hot Dog Month starts today, but how much do you really know about the little tubes of deliciously processed meat?
First two facts: there is a such thing as the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council and it — a project of American Meat Institute — celebrates hot dog month in July.
How could that not be the case?
They may be small, but hot dogs are big business.
Americans will eat 150 million hot dogs over the July 4th holiday. The council says 7 billion hot dogs will be consumed this summer season — Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The Washington D.C.-based group conducts research to benefit hot dog and sausage manufacturers. It has launched its Hot Dog Idol contest. Submit a creative video or audio post singing a song about hot dogs to firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on July 11 for a shot at a gift certificate.
Finalists will be posted on the council’s Facebook page on July 12. The songs with the most votes will be announced on National Hot Dog Day, July 17. The grand prize winner will receive a $250 gift certificate to the grocery store of their choosing for a picnic. First runner-up will get a $100 gift certificate and second runner-up will receive a $50 gift card.
Here are seven fact’s about America’s edible dog:
Hot dogs can be traced back to parts of Frankfurt, Germany, and Vienna, Austria, in the 15th century.
Depends of where you go
A Chicago Dog is considered an all-beef hot dog on a steamed poppy seed bun with raw onions, green relish, mustard, tomato slices, a pickle spear, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. Watch the attached video of Lauren Tester of Chicago Gyros & Dogs, 520 Wilmington Ave. in Dayton, make one. The eatery sells Chicago style hot dogs for $2.75. It is the most popular hot dog sold followed by the Dayton Dog - mustard, relish, onions and sport peppers and fries for $3.25.
Below is a few other variations as described by the council.
New York style — hot dog with steamed onions and pale deli-style yellow mustard.
Southern style — topped with coleslaw.
Michigan Coney Island style —meaty chili sauce, mustard and onions.
Kansas City style - served with sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese on a sesame seed bun.
West Virginia style - topped with coleslaw, chili and mustard
There is a right way to eat them
It is considered improper to use utensils to eat a hot dog. They should be eaten on a buns with your hands. The council says you should also lick the condiments from your fingers after eating a hot dog instead of washing them away.
A dog by any other name
The reference ‘dachshund sausages’ can be attributed to the German immigrants who made sandwiches popular in the United States in the 1800s. They started selling hot dogs from a cart in the Bowery district of New York City. The name ‘hot dog’ can be traced back to a cartoonist who saw carts selling “red hot dachshund dogs.” He couldn’t spell dachshund, so he went with “hot dogs.”
Charles Feltman opened the first Coney Island hot dog stand in 1871. The first sausage was served at a baseball park in 1893.
Really, what is it?
The council defines hot dogs as cooked and/or smoked sausages prepared from one or more kinds of muscle meat or poultry. It says water or/and ice, can be used to help mix and blend seasonings, like salt, pepper, garlic, coriander, mustard, and curing ingredients like sodium nitrite.
Here is how the United States Department of Agriculture defines frankfurters, also known as hot dogs, wieners, or bologna: “smoked sausages according to the Federal standards of identity. Federal standards of identity describe the requirements for processors to follow in formulating and marketing meat, poultry, and egg products produced in the United States for sale in this country and in foreign commerce. The standard also requires that they be comminuted (reduced to minute particles), semisolid products made from one or more kinds of raw skeletal muscle from livestock (like beef or pork), and may contain poultry meat. Smoking and curing ingredients contribute to flavor, color, and preservation of the product. They are link-shaped and come in all sizes — short, long, thin, and chubby.”
The council says people should not use ketchup on hot dogs after the age of 18. Acceptable condiments include mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili.
Your turn. Where is your favorite place to buy a hot dog in the Miami Valley? Tell us below.
Contact this blogger at arobinson@DaytonDailyNews.com or Twitter.com/DDNSmartMouth