I am not a fan of hot dogs, but being married to a dutch descendant, hot dogs and all types of sausages are a staple in our family, and yes once in a while, I do join him in eating a hot sausage on bread as do millions of people around the world.
In 2013, consumers spent $2.5 billion on hot dogs in U.S. supermarkets, and that isn’t counting the hot dogs consumed during baseball games, fairs, or from street vendors.
Although it’s one of America’s favorite foods, how much do we know about its origin and how it’s made?
Sausages are one of the oldest known processed foods, dating far back to the 9th century B.C. Of course, there are many versions of how sausages were created, and the placement of sausages on a slice of bread or bun as a “finger food.”
The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages similar to hot dogs originated. These sausages, Frankfurter Würstchen, were known since the 13th century, and were given to people on the event of imperial coronations. It is said that Vienna was the birthplace of pork and beef sausages back in 1487. The people of Vienna (Wien), Austria, point to the term “wiener” that we are all familiar with.
One thing is sure, the birth place of the sausage was Germany, and it was a German immigrant, Charles Feltman, who in 1870 started selling sausages in rolls on Coney Island. Hot dog historian Bruce Kraig, Ph.D., says the Germans always ate the dachshund sausages with bread. So it is likely that Germans introduced the practice of eating the dachshund sausages, which we today know as hot dogs, nestled in a bun.
I can see why hot dogs have gained the hearts of the American people. They share a similar history of immigration and adapting to meet the needs of fast changing times.
All cultures have developed ways to maximize food, and the hot dog is one such way.
Lets just say nothing goes to waste, and it’s packaged into a delicious cylindrical shape.
To know more about how this iconic food comes to being, watch the video at the top.