Thursday, June 3, 2010


You can make a hot dog just by leaving your dog in the car on a warm day, but DO NOT DO THIS, because your dog might DIE from heat stroke!  And if that happens, you will feel guilty and horrible for the rest of your life, which is not how you want to feel, right?  So remember, you have been warned!

But anyway, now that I said that, I will go on and talk about a much better kind of hot dog, and that is the kind that you eat.  Hot dogs are like sausages, except they are already cooked before you buy them.  Mostly they are made out of beef, pork, chicken, or turkey.  When Mom was a kid, her dad used to tell her that hot dogs were made out of the stuff they swept up off the floor at the place where meat is processed.  Of course, this didn't keep Mom from eating hot dogs anyway, since they taste so good.  And it didn't really keep her dad from eating hot dogs either.

The history of the hot dog is kind of hard to figure out because lots of people seem to have got the idea to put a sausage between two pieces of bread.  Frankfurters come from a town named Frankfurt in Germany, and wieners were invented in Vienna, Austria.  In the U.S., about 1870 on Coney Island, a man named Charles Feltman, who was an immigrant from Germany, started selling sausages in rolls.  Which is how the Coney Island Dog got started.

You could buy a hot dog in Chicago in 1893 at the World's Columbian Exposition or at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904.  And then pretty soon people started eating hot dogs at baseball games and amusement parks and picnics, and they are still doing this today.

Of course, you may be wondering how sausages in a bun got to be called "hot dogs."  So I did some in-depth research on this question, and I learned that "dog" was used as another word for "sausage" at least since 1884, and probably before that.  The first time "hot dog" was used in print to mean "a sausage in a bun" was on September 28, 1893 in The Knoxville Journal.

But that's enough history.  What's more important is how hot dogs should be eaten, which is with condiments like maybe some of these:  mustard, ketchup, pickle relish, cole slaw, sauerkraut, onion, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, cheese, chili, or chili peppers.  The National Sausage and Hot Dog Council US did a study in 2005 that showed that 32% of Americans liked mustard best on their hot dogs, and 23% liked ketchup best.

Some hot dogs have a casing made of sheep intestines, and this is what holds all that meat stuff together while the hot dogs are being cooked.  There are also skinless hot dogs, and these are cooked in a cellulose tube that is taken off  before the hot dogs get packaged.

You should never eat hot dogs cold, even though they have already been cooked.  And this is because if you eat them cold, they aren't "hot dogs" anymore, they are "cold dogs."  Hahahaha!  But seriously, you should cook them or at least heat them up really good so that if there are any nasty bacteria in them, it will get killed. Here are some good ways to cook hot dogs:  grilling, steaming, boiling, barbecuing, frying, broiling, or microwaving.  Or you can even buy a special toaster to cook your hot dogs in.

People eat hot dogs in lots of countries around the world, but not everybody has the same idea about how a hot dog should be fixed.  Here's a picture of some hot dogs in Thailand.

And this is a vegetarian hot dog fixed in a Danish style.

Here is a picture of the World's Longest Hot Dog, which was made in Tokyo in 2005 for the All-Japan Bread Association's 50th Anniversary.  This hot dog is 60.3 meters long.  I think it looks totally yummy, and I'm wondering if there is any of it left that I could eat!


  1. Well...hmmmm...trying NOT to put a damper on today's subject. Truly I DID enjoy reading today's blog, as I do all your blogs.....but "hot dogs" are one food I really, really, really, really dislike! :) However, my mother and daughter LOVE, LOVE, LOVE hot dogs!! I happen to know that my cat, Dodi, likes hotdogs too - because once my mom dropped the one she was eating, and Dodi, being the wild hunter he is - went for it! Di, on the other hand does NOT like any kind of people food - yeah!! Good to be back in contact. By the way, is your mom attending any of the high reunion stuff?
    Take care - Love, AP

  2. Dear Aunt Patty,

    I think something must be wrong with your taste buds if you do not like hot dogs. They are totally yummy! Dodi has the right idea about pouncing on one whenever it lands nearby.

    My mom is going to the Saturday night reunion banquet. She is trying to stuff way too many things into that one weekend, especially since she has to abandon us dogs at the kennel for two nights so she can go to St. Louis for a cactus meeting thing. But she insists she can do it all, so who am I to argue?

    Love, Piper

  3. My mom went to Costco (I didn't because Costco doesn't allow dogs - I don't know why) and found smoked sausages made of bison. She said they were very yummy, but she didn't share. Sometimes she's stingy like that. Anyway, I thought you'd like to know about this recent development in hotdog ingredients.

    Zest, superstar in training

  4. Ooooh! Bison sausages! I will tell my mom about these, and maybe she will get us some!