The Hot Dog

The hot dog is one of the most well-known and tasty treats in the United States today. Whether you are enjoying one at a ball game or at the local fair from a hot dog cart, there is nothing that hits the spot quite like a grilled frank on a bun. This yummy snack is a type of fully cooked cured or smoked sausage that has a soft, even texture. They are commercially served hot in a warm bun.

In most cases, the toppings on each dog are as unique as the person eating it. Different condiments are used to enhance the experience that is the frankfurter. These can include anything from any type of mustard, ketchup chili, cole slaw, relish, sauerkraut, and onion. Other, less common toppings include lettuce, tomato, avocado, chilis and mayonnaise. The most common of all these in the United States, according to the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council is mustard at 32%. This was followed by ketchup then chili after which was relish and onions.

Traditionally, the ingredients used to make a frank are beef, pork, or a combination of the two. In some cases, chicken and other ingredients are popular in cheaper hot dogs. Other variations of this product are made for targeted select groups such as those who only eat kosher foods or vegetarians. While commercial entities such as hot dog stands, restaurants, and concession trailers sell the franks cooked, they are usually safe to eat without being cooked or heated, although they are not usually enjoyed that way.

The name “dog” has been used as a term referring to the sausage since 1884, that we know of. In some cases, sausage makers were accused of using real dogs of the canine variety in the meat. These cases date from at the latest 1845. Where “hot dog” came from might not ever be known for certain, but some say it was coined by a newspaper cartoonist. Thomas Aloysius Dorgan illustrated a cartoon in 1900 showing the sale of the name’s sake at a New York Giants baseball game. But the earliest use by Dorgan of that term referred to a bicycle race at Madison Square Garden. By that time, this term had already been in use. In 1893, in a publication of The Knoxville Journal, Barry Popik used this phrase in reference to a sausage. They are also known as franks, frankfurters, and wieners.

The hot dog is usually discernible from any other sausage because it is smaller and lacks the spicing that typically is present in other sausages. The length is generally about 6-inches long, though the length and the width of it can vary slightly. These are readily available in local supermarkets and convenience stores. Some brands of this product make them up to 12 inches in length, often referred to as a “footlong”.

No matter what you put on your hot dog, what it is made of, or what it looks like, this type of adopted American traditional food is a great way to enjoy the afternoon at a ball park or the local fairgrounds.