In honor of
National Hot Dog Month, some answers to those dogging questions
is National Hot Dog Month, and according to the National Hot Dog
and Sausage Council, Americans will be consuming the infamous
little red tubes of "meat" in record numbers this summer.
estimates that over seven billion hot dogs will be eaten by
Americans between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During the July
4th weekend alone (the biggest hot-dog holiday of the year), 155
million will be downed.
Every year, Americans eat an average of 60 hot dogs each. They
are clearly one of the country's most loved, but most
misunderstood, comfort foods. Below you'll find some frequently
asked questions regarding the hot dog. For more information,
visit the Council's website at www.hot-dog.org. Bon app*tit.
How did the hot
dog get its name?
The term "hot dog" is credited to sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan.
At a 1901 baseball game at the
in New York, vendors began selling hot dachsund sausages in
From the press box, Dorgan could hear the vendors yelling, "Get
your dachshund sausages while they're red hot!" He sketched a
cartoon depicting the scene but wasn't sure how to spell
"dachshund" so he called them simply, "hot dogs." And the rest
What exactly is a
hot dog made of?
Nope. You're not allowed to ask that one. And do you really want
to know anyway? For the record, the Council refers to the actual
meat as "specially selected meat trimmings." They would like to
point out, however, that thanks to stricter U.S. Department of
Agriculture rules, hot-dog meat has become much leaner and,
unless otherwise indicated, must be made from muscle (as most
meat found in supermarkets is).
Most supermarket hot dogs use cellulose casings, which are
removed before packaging. Some, however, still use the
traditional natural casings, made from animal intestines. By
law, a hot dog can contain up to 3.5 percent of "non-meat
ingredients." Don't be scared. This is usually just some type of
milk or soy product used to add to the nutritional value. Many
hot dogs may be relatively high in fat and sodium, but they are
also a good source of protein, iron, and other necessary
is the most popular condiment for a hot dog?
Council research shows that for adults, mustard is the condiment
of choice, while children prefer ketchup. That said, preferences
do change from region to region. For instance, hot dogs in New
York are generally served with a lighter mustard and steamed
onions, while Chicago hot dogs can come with mustard, relish,
onions, tomato slices, or pretty much anything at all.