Whether you top it with deli mustard and sauerkraut, ketchup, relish, or “drag it through the garden” Chicago-style, the hot dog is as quintessentially American a food as any other, and one of the staples of summer cookouts. But we bet that there are some things you didn’t know about the humble hot dog.
There’s a Difference Between a Wiener and a Frankfurter
Head to an authentic German sausage shop and you’ll see two different sausages: wieners and frankfurters. Frankfurters are made entirely with pork, and wieners are a mixture of pork and beef.
Two Legendary Entertainers Are Responsible for Nathan’s
Nathan Handwerker was an employee at Coney Island’s sprawling Feltman’s Restaurant when two of his friends, singing waiters named Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante, convinced him to go into business on his own selling hot dogs for five cents — half the price of Feltman’s. Within a few years, all three of them would be “famous.”
The First Known Use of the Term Dates From 1892
The earliest use of the term “hot dog” appeared in the December 31, 1892 edition of the Paterson (New Jersey) Daily Press. The story was about a local traveling vendor known as “Hot Dog Morris.”
17 Percent of Childhood Choking Deaths are Hot Dog-Related
Of all the children under the age of 10 who die of choking, 17 percent asphyxiate because of hot dogs. Because they’re nearly impossible to dislodge from a windpipe due to their size and shape, doctors recommend you slice them lengthwise and into small pieces.
Hot Dog Styles Are Geographically Confusing
Michigan hot dogs are popular in upstate New York, Coney Island hot dogs are popular in Michigan, New York System dogs are popular in Rhode Island, and Texas hot dogs are popular in New York and Pennsylvania, but not Texas. It’s all a mystery.