10 January 2024

It’s National Hot Dog Day – Let’s Dig into the Fascinating World of Hot Dogs!

By Ronald Smith

Did you know that July 20 is National Hot Dog Day? Hot dogs may sometimes get a bad rap, but guess what? They’re actually one of the most beloved foods in America! And you know what else? Small businesses play a huge role in the hot dog industry.

Hot dogs, wieners, frankfurters, weenies, sausages – call them what you want – these tasty treats are a true American delicacy, loved by people all across the country.

In fact, last year alone, Americans spent a mind-boggling $7.5 billion on hot dogs and sausages in supermarkets! We just can’t get enough of them, whether we’re enjoying them at home, at a barbecue, at the ballpark, or at a food stand.

Interesting Tidbits for National Hot Dog Day

Here’s something fascinating – hot dogs are serious business! The global Hot Dogs and Sausages market was worth a whopping $69.3 billion in 2018, and experts predict it will reach $80.5 billion by the year 2025.

Did you know that the market is expected to grow by 1.9% from 2019 to 2025? That’s why a lot of people are interested in starting their own hot dog stand or buying a hot dog franchise business.

  • Guess which city consumes the most hot dogs in the US? It’s Los Angeles! The residents there devour around 30 million pounds of hot dogs. And in 2019, Los Angeles Dodgers fans alone ate 2.7 million hot dogs.
  • If you thought hot dogs were popular, you’d be right! They are served in a whopping 95% of homes in the United States. And do you know when hot dog consumption is at its highest? It’s during the summer, specifically from Memorial Day to Labor Day. And on the 4th of July, the whole nation together eats a staggering 150 million hot dogs!
  • Now, if you’re conscious about your calorie intake, here’s an interesting fact: an average beef hot dog contains about 190 calories. It’s good to be aware of these things, right?
  • But when it comes to buying hot dogs at retail outlets, New Yorkers are the champions! They buy more hot dogs there than in any other city in the country. So, if you’re ever in New York, you know where to get your hot dog fix!

Did you know that travelers passing through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport eat more hot dogs there than at LaGuardia in New York and Los Angeles International? It’s hard to believe, but it’s true! According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans devour a whopping 20 billion hot dogs every year. That’s a whole lot of sausages! And get this – the average American eats around 70 hot dogs annually. That’s enough to keep the grills sizzling! We even have a special day dedicated to celebrating this delicious treat – National Hot Dog Day, which falls on the third Wednesday of July. Now, let me tell you a little bit about the history of this humble food. It’s fascinating!

I’m going to tell you an interesting story about hot dogs. Did you know that hot dogs first came from Germany? They were called Frankfurter Würstchens, which means little sausages. These sausages were served during important celebrations, like imperial coronations. But then something exciting happened – they made their way across the ocean to America in the late 19th century!

Now, there’s a bit of a mystery surrounding how hot dogs came to be. Some people say that a German immigrant named Anton Feuchtwanger had a brilliant idea. He was living in St. Louis, Missouri, and he wanted to make his hot dogs easier to eat. So, he came up with a clever solution – he put them in a bun. Can you believe that?

Anton’s idea was brilliant because it meant that his customers no longer had to worry about burning their hands while enjoying their hot dogs. Imagine that! It’s amazing how something as simple as putting a sausage in a bun could make such a big difference.

So, next time you’re enjoying a delicious hot dog, remember the clever immigrant who changed the game. I don’t know about you, but it makes me appreciate hot dogs even more!

Did you know that hot dogs have an interesting history in the United States? Legend has it that they first gained popularity when a German immigrant started selling them from a cart in the Bowery district of New York City. This happened a long time ago, back in 1871. It must have been quite a sight to see people lining up for these tasty treats!

But that’s not all. A man named Charles Feltman opened the very first Coney Island hot dog stand. His business was a huge success and soon spread to other places in the south. In fact, it wasn’t long before hot dogs made their way to baseball parks. Can you imagine enjoying a delicious sausage at a baseball game in 1893? That’s when the special connection between hot dogs and baseball really started to take off.

Now, let me tell you an interesting story about how hot dogs got their name. There’s a cartoonist who noticed these carts selling ‘red hot dachshund dogs’ at the New York Polo grounds. But there was just one problem – he couldn’t spell the word ‘dachshund’! So instead, he decided to call them ‘hot dogs’ and the name stuck.

When it comes to hot dogs, you may have heard the names franks and wieners. These names actually come from the cities of Frankfurt, Germany, and Vienna, Austria, where they originated. Nowadays, people often use these names interchangeably, but there is a slight difference – a frank is usually made of all beef, while a wiener contains pork.

But let’s talk about what exactly a hot dog is.

No matter how the hot dog came to be, nowadays there are many different kinds of hot dogs out there. Some people even make vegetarian versions, which can be a bit controversial for hot dog traditionalists. Interestingly, in 2013, the California Legislature defined a hot dog as a type of sausage that is cured and cooked, without a skin or in a casing. It can have various names like frankfurter, frank, furter, wiener, red hot, vienna, bologna, garlic bologna, or knockwurst. And of course, it is meant to be served in a bun or roll.

When it comes to hot dogs, the meat used usually comes from the muscle. Sometimes, you might find other types of meat like liver and hearts thrown into the mix. But don’t worry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture makes sure that producers have to let you know about these extra ingredients. They have to mention it on the package, using phrases like ‘with variety meats’ or ‘with meat by-products’.

Differences Across States

But it’s not that simple. Different states and regions have their own twist on the hot dog, each with their own special meat and toppings. In Tuscon and Phoenix, they call them Sonorans – hot dogs wrapped in bacon and grilled. In Upstate New York, they’re called Michigan Red Hots – beef franks in a steamed split-top bun, topped with minced meat chili (no tomatoes or beans), chopped raw onions, and mustard.

Rhode Island has its own offering too – all-beef hot dogs served in steamed side-cut rolls with meat sauce, mustard, chopped onion, and a hint of celery salt. And then there’s Chicago – their hot dog comes in a steamed poppy seed bun with an all-beef frankfurter, topped with yellow mustard, bright green relish, chopped onions, juicy red tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, some spicy sport peppers, and a touch of celery salt.