Monday, July 19, 2021
Did you know, the entire month of July has been designated National Hot Dog Month in the United States? The whole month!!!!
This all started in 1956 when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce tied hot dog festivities to America’s birthday on July 4th. There was no National Hot Dog Day at the time. But in 1991, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council declared the 3rd Wednesday of July to be the “big day”. That particular day was chosen to coincide with the annual Hot Dog Lunch on Capitol Hill hosted by the North American Meat Institute. In 2021, that day is Wednesday, July 21st. That’s only a couple of days from NOW!!! Get busy!!! Go buy those 8-packs of buns and the matching packs of hot dogs; get a bag of chips; call some friends; fire up the grill; and sit down to a fun and jovial meal!!
But what about the rest of the world???
Aha!!! Don’t you know, the hot dog is ubiquitous worldwide!!!
In the Czech Republic it’s call Park v Rohilku;
in Sweden, Tunnbrodsrulle;
Grillpolser in Norway and Denmark;
in eastern Germany, Ketwurst;
Boerewors in South Africa;
Pylsur in Iceland.
If you google “the most famous hot dog stand in the world”, the very first hit is Baejarins Betzu Pylsur in Reykjavik, Iceland. Who’d a thunk a little stand at the top of the world could attain such fame!!! It is said they sell the best hot dog in the world. Mmmm, not so sure about best—doesn’t that depend on your preference of condiments–but definitely very, very good.
So, where did the hot dog come from???
Well, there’s a great deal of debate over that. Chopped meat stuffed into a casing, aka sausage, was mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey c. 8th century B.C. Hot dogs as we know them today, can be traced to Germany and/or Austria in the 15th century. Frankfurt, Germany and Vienna, Austria are the reason we call hot dogs “frankfurters” or “wieners”!!! But the most popular explanation for the spread and popularity of the hot dog is immigration. German immigrants in the Bowery district of New York City are known to have sold them from carts in the 1860s. Charles Feltman, a German baker, opened the first Coney Island stand selling 3,684 “dachshund” sausages in a milk roll his first year!!! And then, in 1893, vendors at the Colombian Exposition in Chicago sold huge quantities of sausages to the visitors. That same year, a St. Louis bar owner, Chris Von de Ahe (a German immigrant who also owned the St. Louis Browns major league baseball team), made hot “dachshund” sausages standard fare at baseball parks!!! Even in Papeette, Tahiti you will find hot dogs served from food trucks on Saturday night!!!
What’s the bottom line here???
Celebrate that yummy “tube steak” for the rest of this month. Invite some friends; fire up the grill, collect an assortment of condiments; add some chips; and enjoy!!!
But on Wednesday, National Hot Dog Day…..
…..Take me out to the ball game…..
…..forget the peanuts and crackerjacks; buy me a hot dog…..
…..and pass the mustard, please!!!