Fun Facts about Hot Dogs-- National Hot Dog Day

National Hot Dog Day

Did you know today is National Hot Dog Day? There are all sorts of events going on in honor of it. Be sure to check out this article for some of the deals you can get. Today I thought I would share with you some fun facts about hot dogs. 

History of the Hot Dog Fun Facts

1)   Sausages are mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey (written in 9th century BC). Sausages are the oldest processed food. Hot dogs are a type of sausage.

2) In 1484 (15th century AD) it is said that the frankfurter was developed in Frankfurt, Germany.

3) In the 1690s it is said that German Johann Georghehner, a butcher living in Coburg, Germany created the hot dog which he later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product. His product was known as the dachshund or “little dog” sausage.

4) In 1805 the people of Vienna (Wien), Austria mention the term wiener as their claim to the birthplace of the hot dog. It is said that the first master sausage maker to make a hot dog trained in Frankfurt, Germany but made the hot dog in Vienna and called it a “wiener-frankfurt.” It is known as a wienerwurst (wiener for Wien) and wurst is the German word for sausage.

5) American hot dogs are probably a mixture of various European versions brought with immigrants.

6) The first time a hot dog was served in a roll is also in debate. Some say a German immigrant sold dachshund sausages with milk rolls and sauerkraut in New York City’s Bowery in 1860s and others say it was the first hot dog stand at Coney Island. In 1871 a German baker opened it and sold 3,684 dachshund sausages in a milk rolls in the first year. Some historians believe that Germans always ate dachshund sausages in rolls.

7) In 1893 sausages became a staple at baseball fields. It is believed it began in St. Louis. The owner of the St. Louis Browns, Chris Von de Ahe, was a German immigrant and bar owner and is believed to have started the traditions. Today Dodgers Stadium is the ballpark that sells the most hot dogs per year. Baseball fans consume more than 26 million hot dogs in a season. That is enough to circle the bases 36,000 times. Babe Ruth once ate 12 hot dogs and 8 sodas between two games in a double header. He was rushed to the hospital with indigestion.

8) The term hot dog is debated as well. There are stories that it was coined in 1902 at the New York Polo grounds on a cold April day. The vendors yelled to get the dachshund sausages while they’re red hot! Some say a newspaper reporter heard it and didn’t know how to spell dachshund and called them hot dog. In 1894 or 1895 sausage vendors would sell sausages outside Eastern university dorms and their carts were known as dog wagons. This term came from the popular belief that dog meat was used in sausage. Many university magazines including ones from Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Cornell mention the term “hot dog” well before 1900.

Clara Bow in Wings trailer 3
Clara Bow in Wings By Trailer screenshot (Wings trailer)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

9) A Jewish immigrant from Poland named Nathan Handwerker is said to have made hot dogs famous in the United States. In 1915 he worked at a hot dog stand in Coney Island. He slept on the kitchen floor for a year and saved his money until he had enough to open his own business. He charged half the price for his hot dogs and people flocked to his cart. People from all over America heard about his hot dogs and wanted to try them. It was the beginning of Nathan’s Famous. Nathan also hired a redheaded teenager named Clara Bowtiinelli who was discovered while working there and became silent film star, Clara Bow in the 1920s. Nathan’s dogs were reported to Al Capone’s favorite food. Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest has been happening every year since 1916. This year (2018) a new record was set. Joey Chestnut ate 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes. He has won the contest in 11 out of the past 12 years.

Cooking Hot Dogs on the Campfire (3677843356)
Cooking Hot Dogs on Camp Fire By Jason Pratt from Pittsburgh, PA (Cooking Hot Dogs on the Campfire)
[CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

10) In the late 1920s hot dogs were being cooked over open flames in backyards across the United States. Guests would bring their own wieners to roast.

Fun Statistics of Hot Dogs

1) On average Americans eat 60 hot dogs a year. On July 4th weekend, 155 million hot dogs will be eaten. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day Americans eat 7 billion hot dogs. In 2015, Americans bought more than $2.5 million worth of hot dogs.

2) It takes 6.1 bites on average to eat an average hot dog.

3) Californians consume the most hot dogs in the US. People in Los Angeles purchase 34 million pounds of hot dogs a year and in 2010 the people of San Francisco consumed the most hot dogs per person per year.

4) Chicago O’Hare International Airport has 725,000 hot dogs consumed a year. That is six times more than Los Angeles International Airport and LaGuardia Airport combined.

5) Hot dogs are served in 95% of American homes.

6) Hot dogs cause 17% of children’s choking deaths. Consider cutting them in half the long way and then into small pieces for younger kids!

7) 7-Eleven sells 100 million hot dogs annually.

8) Japan enjoys original twists on the hot dog. In 2013 black hot dogs took over the Tokoyo market. The buns and dogs have been dyed with black charcoal ash.

IKEA の忍者ドッグ 2016 (29475839311)
Japanese Hot Dog By Ryosuke Yagi (#IKEA の #忍者ドッグ 黒すぎ。)
[CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

9) The most expensive hot dog sold was sold in 2014 in Seattle, Washington for $169.

10) By law a hot dog can contain up to 3.5% of non-meat ingredients. These are often milk or soy product.

11) For children ketchup is the favorite condiment and for adults it is mustard (71% of adults chose mustard and 51% chose ketchup in a survey).

Fun Places Hot Dogs Were Served or Mentioned

1) The first words Mickey Mouse uttered were “Hot dogs!” in 1929 film, The Karnival Kid. (Maybe that is why there is the hot dog dance on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.)

2) President Franklin Roosevelt hosted King George VI of England and his queen in 1939 at his estate in Hyde Park, NY. First Lady Eleanor decided to serve grilled hot dogs as part of the menu. The choice received much press and skepticism, but it was a success. King George asked for seconds.

President Franklin Roosevelt, King George VI, Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth in 1939 By FDR Presidential Library & Museum (58-342) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

3) Queen Elizabeth II served hot dogs at a royal banquet for the American Bar Association in 1957.

4) First Lady Rosalynn Carter served hot dogs at a White House picnic in 1977.

5) Corn dogs were introduced at the Texas State Fair in 1942. It was the idea of Neil Fletcher.

6) The astronauts on Apollo 11 enjoyed hot dogs in 1969.

7) 2.4 million hot dogs were consumed by U.S. soldiers in military posts in 2007.

So be sure to get out there and enjoy a hot dog today!! How do you like your hot dog? There are different types all over the world. Here are some fun ideas in case you want to try something new.

1) Healthier Hot Dogs with Rainbow Vegetables from Eats Amazing

2) Mummy Hot Dogs

3) Easy Banana "Hot Dogs" Dessert from Eats Amazing

4) 20 Sizzling Good Hot Dog Recipes to Grill from The Usual Mayhem